NPFL: Dogo looks to continue impressive form for Sunshine Stars

Coach Kabiru 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 afterward commended his players for holding on to claim the match points admitting that Plateau United gave his side a tough time.
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The former Nasarawa United Manager, however, called for calm as he believes the side will get even better. “I’m excited with the result and how we played, 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”, remarked Dogo in a chat with www.npfl.ng
“We will not get carried away with this, we still have more games to play and I’m confident we will improve more”, he added.
In his reaction, Plateau United’s Abdu Maikaba told www.npfl.ng that his side woke up late to the match blaming his center-backs for the goals but 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.
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“Yes, it’s normal for teams to go through these moments, but I’m sure we will get over this and pick up again to go on another winning run,” he said.
Substitute Uche Onwusanonya scored early into restart but the Tin City side, despite dominating most parts of the 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 scoreline two minutes later when Sunday Anthony lofted the ball over Ojo Olorunleke in goal for the hosts but his volley was cleared off the line by Seun Olulayo.
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 the 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 backline busy but they couldn’t find the cutting edge.
Final effort for Plateau was a free-kick at the edge of Sunshine’s box, Ocho tried to curl it in but it was deflected to the path of Ibrahim Babawo whose low cross was snapped by Ojo gifting the Owena Whales their third successive league victories.
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.
Source: npfl.ng
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