Sunshine Stars have gone three games without a win in the 2019/20 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) with two draws and a defeat. After their defeat in Enugu to Rangers in a rescheduled MatchDay 1 fixture, Coach Kabiru Dogo whose side had earlier drawn 1-1 at home to Warri Wolves had only encomiums for the players, assuring that they would soon turn up with results.
In Umuahia on Sunday evening, the Akure side failed to defend a one goal lead, allowing Abia Warriors to rally to a draw. Dogo remains impressed and again commended his players.
“I give credit to my players, its not easy to get a point on the road in the NPFL, I would have loved to win here because we have a good record against Abia Warriors, but in all, I believe we can get better,” Dogo told www.npfl.ng after the match
Dogo thinks it’s early day in the season with more matches ahead during which he hopes to see the players become a stronger unit.
“its only MatchDay 3, so I am sure my players will get better as the season progresses. We will go back to Akure to prepare for the game against Enyimba Fc, and its a game we must win, so as to go up the table”, declared the former Nasarawa United coach.
Abia Warrior Fc started the game with same players that played in Uyo on MatchDay 2 against Akwa United, with only striker Abdulsalam Atilola’s place in the Starting XI taken by Ikedinachi Nwakanma.
The first chance of the game came on the 3rd minute to the hosts after Emeka Isaac’s cross from the corner flag was saved by Sunshine stars goalkeeper, Saliu Suleiman.
Two minutes after, Jimoh Oni got his chance for Sunshine but his freekick was also saved by Abia warriors goalkeeper, Godsgift Elkanah.
The “Akure Gunners” continued to dominate possession with Wasiu Jimoh, Timo Ogunniyi, Fuad Ekelejuoti and Uche Ihuarulam causing problems for the Abia Warriors defenders led by captain Austin Obaroakpo and Perfait Jean.
The visitors were rewarded on the 19th minute as Abia Warriors defender, Perfait Jean couldn’t clear his line, allowing Sunshine stars Winger Fuad Ekelujoti to tap home with an assist from Uche Ihuarulam.
With Abia warriors trailing at home after the goal, coach Emmanuel Deutsche had to change formation preferring winger, Philip Auta deployed to the flank to support Jimoh Oni upfront.
However, Abia Warriors got thier equalizer on 32nd minute from a throw-in by Emeka Isaac allowing Philip Auta to score from a rebound after Sunshine stars goalkeeper Suleiman had let the ball off his hands.
Up next for Sunshine stars will be a home fixture against NPFL Champions Enyimba Fc on match day 4, while Abia Warriors Fc will be guests to Adamawa United.