Sunshine Stars FC of Akure recorded their first victory of the new NPFL season, thanks to a 1-0 win over Enyimba of Aba in a matchday four encounter in Akure on Wednesday.
Midfielder, Anthony Omaka netted the only goal of the game in the 10th minute of the encounter, pouncing on a ball inside the area.
Both sides came into the game with impressive results from their last outings. Sunshine Stars secured a 1-1 draw against Abia Warriors in Umuahia while Enyimba thrashed Akwa United 3-1 at home.
The presentation of Sunshine Stars’ new players to the fans and the media ahead of kick off looked to have heightened expectations of the home crowd at the Ondo State Sports Complex.
The home team got off the blocks confidently against their rivals, and it didn’t take long before they grabbed the advantage.
Anthony Omaka found space on the edge of the area before powering home a low drive which hit the bottom right corner off the woodwork into the back of the net.
Few minutes later, Israel Abia tried his luck from another angle but was kept out by Stanley Nwabili just as Fu’ad Ekelojuoti’s effort from the near post was also saved by the shot stopper.
Sunshine Stars had other chances to double the advantage before the end of the first half, but Ihuarulam, Omaka and Ekelojuoti missed other chances from different attempts.
Sunshine Stars began the second half where they left the first and five minutes into it, the champions failed to clear their line to serve Israel Abia a real chance to through on goal, but the big-framed striker failed to convert from six-yard, sending the crowd into loud murmur.
Chances were few and far between from that moment but Enyimba massive probing with more bodies upfront almost paid off in the closing stages of the game from a dangerous set play.
Daniel Darkwah sent a corner kick straight at goal, but Jamiu Alimi who played the better part of the second half limping with all substitution exhausted, was well positioned on the goal line to head out the danger.
With their hearts in the mouth, the home crowd cheered as Omaka’s first goal of the season stood as the difference between the two rivals and handed Enyimba their first defeat of the season.
The result moves Sunshine Stars to 10th on the log with five points from four matches. The Owena Whales next face off with Katsina United at the Mohammed Dikko on Sunday.