A spirited second half performance earned Sunshine Stars FC their first home win of the season, running out 2-1 over Remo Stars in a matchday six southwest derby.
Bright Akpojuvwevwo cancelled out Fuad Ekelojuoti’s opener in the first half before Ekelojuoti tapped home his second of the derby from Alaba Adeniyi’s free kick to secure the hard fought win for the Owena Whales.
The game was barely two minutes old before Ekelojuoti converted the first real chance with a header, sending the home crowd into ecstasy.
Three minutes later, Remo Stars levelled up through the centre half who headed home from a corner kick.
Sunshine Stars almost regained the lead through Alaba Adeniyi, but a Remo centre half made a goal line clearance after the full back’s intended cross-in was misjudged by Emmanuel Fabiyi.
There was nothing more to separate the two sides at half time, bringing to an end a tedious first forty five minutes.
After the restart, Sunshine Stars however turned up the heat, with the match winner coming off a free kick from Alaba Adeniyi, which Fuad Ekelojuoti, at a closer look bundled home, after Fabiyi parried it in his way.
The hosts could have added more to the tally, but the cross bar denied Daniel Ibe, just as Jide Fatokun and Dayo Ojo also blazed over the bar.
Kabiru Dogo and his boys maintained the lead solidly, with goalkeeper David Ariyo standing out with two point blank saves to keep the final score at 2-1.
At the post match presser, Coach Kayode Julius who spoke to journalists on behalf of Kabiru Dogo attributed the win to steady progress, thanking the fans for their unflinching support.
“We played against a team led by our former coach, so it was a bit difficult for us but I must commend the players for their hard work and the fans as well for being there from start to finish”
Reno Stars gaffer and former Sunshine Stars coach, Kennedy Boboye rued the loss on depth and hunger while he also spoke fairly of the officiating.
“I think Sunshine Stars won because they showed more hunger. They came out like they needed it and got it. Good enough, the officiating was fair as well so it’s up to me to strengthen my team as soon as possible.”
Sunshine Stars have now moved up to second in group A with eight points from four matches and next Niger Tornadoes at in Minna on Thursday.