Sunshine Stars impressive start to the 2017/18 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season has been halted with a hardly deserved 2-0 loss to Nasarawa United in Lafia.
Sunshine Stars made a lively start to Sunday’s Match Day Three tie but fell behind as early as the 9th minutes when Douglas Achiv’s inch-perfect free kick from the edge of the area found the back of the net to hand United an early advantage.
The visitors responded to United goal with some purposeful attacking display and thought parity has been restored when Yusuf Jaiyeola bridged Suraj Ayeloso’s goal from a goal mouth scramble, but the effort was ruled out by the referee for an unclear reason.
United doubled their advantage five minutes after the restart through Ishanya Anyu who reacted fastest to smash home the rebound of Seun Sogbeso’s spot kick that was initially stopped by goalkeeper Henry Ayodele. Sunshine Stars had been been penalised earlier for Jide Fatokun’s challenge on Suleiman Mohammed in the area.
Despite dominating the larger swath of the final period the Akure Landlords found Ayeleso unbeatable. On a standout occasion the goalkeeper denied Kehinde Adedipe from point blank with a stunning save before cutting out Abiodun Joseph bound Alimi’s cross moments before the game was brought to an end for United first win of the campaign.
In a post interview Sunshine Stars head coach, Duke Udi hinged the game on his boys profligacy while captain, Sunday Abe rued his side disallowed goal.
_”The referee knows why he canclled our goal is his job and in football the team that won is the better side. We didn’t take our chances and when it happens like that you are bound to get punished.”_ Udi submitted.
_”I don’t know why the referee will disallowed our goal but it is his job. We will go back to Akure to improve our game and hope for a better result in our next game (Rivers United) on Wednesday.”_ Abe said.
*Sunshine Stars Match Stats*
Nasarawa Utd 2-0 Sunshine Stars
D. Achiv 8′
I. Anyu 49′
*Sunshine Stars XI:* _Henry Ayodele, Sunday Abe (C), 31. El Shittu Lawal, Anthony Omaka(Nwakanma Ikedinachi 63′), Nojeem Raji, Jide Fatokun, Abiodun Joseph, Kehinde Adedipe, Yusuf Jaiyeola(Omotayo Adebogun 48′), Ezekiel Thompson (Franklin Sasere 22′ ), Sikiru Alimi_
*Unused Subs:* _David Ariyo, Charles Okoro, Alaba Adeniyi_
*Caution:* _Adebogun 53′ Lawal 61′ Sasere 77’_