Sunshine Stars coach targets more good runs after win over Plateau
Coach Jabiru Dogo beamed with smiles of satisfaction after Sunshine Stars scorched Plateau United 2-1 in a gritty contest that saw the Tin City side battle futilely to equalise in the second half.Sunshine Stars would hold on to their two first half goals from Ogunniyi Omo-Jesu and Fuad Ekelojuoti to grind out a hard fought 2-1 win over Plateau United in the Matchday 15 of Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) encounter played in Akure on Wednesday.Dogo afterwards commended his players for holding on to claim the match points admitting that Plateau United gave his side a tough time.
The former Nasarawa United Manager however called for calm, as he believes the side would get even better.“I’m excited with the result and how we played,” Dogo said. “It was a tough match, the two sides are technically sound and we know each other’s strength”.
“They gave us a good and tough time but I’m happy with how we dealt with the game”, he stated in a chat with www.npfl.ng.He continues: “We will not get carried away with this. We still have more games to play and I’m confident we will improve more.”
In his reaction, Plateau United’s Abdu Maikaba told www.npfl.ng that his side woke up late to the match, blaming his centre backs for the goals. But he was quick to pick positives from the match.He said Plateau’s dip in form was down to fatigue, adding that the club would soon get over it.“I want to believe we played well even though we lost. The performance in the first half was due to fatigue and you can see we picked up in the second half but unfortunately our defense switched off for the goals.“Yes, it’s normal for teams to go through this moments, but I’m sure we will get over this and pick up again to go on another winning runs,” he said.
Substitute Uche Onwusanonya scored early into restart but the Tin City side, despite dominating most parts of second half could not break Sunshine Stars defense marshalled by Tope Akande and Bright Akpojunvebwo.The Owena Whales were returning home on the back of their away victory against Wikki Tourists last Sunday and needed a victory to consolidate.
The victory came but with added efforts against Plateau United who were desperate to pick up from their dropped points at home to Akwa United last Sunday in a 0-0 draw.Sunshine Stars had the first shot on target inside the opening minute when Mohammed Suleiman combined with Wasiu Jimoh but his shot went straight to Plateau goalkeeper, Chinedu Anozie
Anozie also denied Anthony Omaka moments later as he blocked a scoring effort with his body.But the Tin City keeper couldn’t save his side from getting behind in the 11th minute, as he was beaten with a chip from Ogunniyi Omo-Jesu in the box.Plateau United could have levelled the score line two minutes later, when Sunday Anthony lofted the ball over Ojo Olorunleke in goal for the hosts, but Seun Olulayo cleared his volley off the line.
The boys of coach Abdu Maikaba enjoyed dominance for much of the game and could have gotten the equalizer but Ibrahim Mustapha could not beat Ojo with a tame shot.Sunshine doubled their lead with just three minutes after half an hour mark when Fuad Ekelojuoti tucked in a rebound effort after Anozie parried down a shot from Jide Fatokun.
Daniel Itodo threatened Sunshine defense with a trademark long throw, but Ojo was on time to pick before Mustapha could reach.The hosts resumed the second half like they ended first half and created three quick scoring opportunities but Anozie was on hand to make the scoreline remain same.Uche Owusanonya reduced the deficit for Plateau in the 57th minute as he finished off a counter attack initiated by Mustapha and Ibeh.Series of long throws from Itodo threatened Coach Kabiru Dogo’s side but Ojo used his height advantage to keep his side in the lead.
The last phase of the game was all about Plateau United as they went all out in search of the equalizer, putting Ojo and his back line busy but they couldn’t find the cutting edge.Sunshine Stars, who moved two places up (joint fourth with Plateau on 25 points) will be taking on Kwara United in Ilorin on Sunday, while Plateau United will host Adamawa United in Jos.
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