BY JUBRIL AROWOLO.
Thanks to substitute striker, Assiri Emmanuel, it would have been another tale of 1-1 draw for Shooting Stars. Ten minutes after his introduction, he netted the late winner that has seen Shooting Stars drifting away from the murky waters of relegation as they had a hard won 2-1 win over Niger Tornadoes.
The Ivorian striker had come in for injured Merenini Junior and gave seemingly hopeless home fans something more cheer when he slotted in the winner on 85th minute of the game.
The game had started on a fast note with the home side getting it underway after a minute silence for the departed coach of Remo Stars, Mohammed Perez, at the Lekan Salami Stadium, Adamasingba, Ibadan.
In an apparent search for early goals, the quartet of Sunday Faleye, Merenini Junior, Ayobami Junior and Lekan Bola were firmly on the pedal with much trouble for Niger Tornadoes’ defence line.
Also at the receiving end was goalkeeper and captain, Mustapha Aliko who punched, parried and saved to keep the rampaging homers in check, even his occasional dangerous counter from his side notwithstanding.
However, they caved in towards the end of the first half with Sunday Faleye registering his fourth goal of the season in a clinical way.
A nice exchange between Tolu Olaifa and Ibrahim Babalola had prompted a floated pass from the middle to the right side of the field and Sunday dazzled two defenders on him before he finished with his left to the bottom corner of the post in the 43rd minute to cap up a scintillating display in the half.
On resumption of the second half, the domineering display continued for Shooting Stars with the visitors also giving a fight from the defence to the attack and goal keeper Tambe Charles had to come out to save some dangerous incursions.
This was the situation until 79th minute when Tornadoes’ substitute Ammeh Wilfred equalized to silence the home fans.
Ammeh came for Ebenezer Odeyemi early in the second half. Another substitution also saw Abubakar Mohammed come in for Bolaji Adeyemi. They added pep into their forays before the goal.
A free kick into six yards was over looked by 3SC’s Promise Ebiaku before Hamzat Owolabi nodded down for unmarked Ammeh for a cool finish and equalizer for the away team.
Shooting Stars fought back from the restart of the game and earned two successive corners. Lekan Bola has taken a short one before a neat one-two touch involving Tolu, Babalola and Assiri who tapped it in, to bring the stadium alive again with a 2-1 score line.
Though Niger Tornadoes responded, it was too little too late and a secured three points for the Oluyole Warriors with their three consecutive home wins since Rangers visit.
In his reaction to www.3sc.com.ng shortly after the game, Niger Tornadoes Head Coach, Bala Abubakar, said “Shooting Stars are a good side and with a good coach in Fatai Amoo, they deserved the victory”.
For Edith Agoye of Shooting Stars, the victory was well worked out. “We studied their last game against Remo Stars and this gave us an insight into their style of play and that’s exactly what they did here but we outsmarted them”, he submitted.
Meanwhile, centre back, Shittu Taiwo, for his outstanding performance emerged the Most Valuable Player in the game with an award from the management of Ibadan City Polytechnic. “I’m excited to emerge the MVP and this will make me to work harder and I thank our supporters for standing by us” he concluded.