* As Assiri scored a late winner in slim 2-1 win *
By Jubril Arowolo-Are –
It takes substitute striker Assiri Emmanuel about 10 minutes in the game before he scored a late winner to give Shooting Stars three maximum points against hard fighting Niger Tornadoes of Minna.
The Ivorien striker had come in for injured Merenini Junior in his consecutive games to give seemingly hopeless home fans something more cheer when 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, this afternoon 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 ascintillating 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 touches involving Tolu, Babalola and Assiri who tapped it in, to bring the stadium alive again with a 2-1 scoreline.
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”, he concluded.
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 more harder and I thank our supporters for standing by us” he concluded.
Jubril Arowolo-Are is Media Officer of 3SC