Sunday Faleye Celebrating a Goal

An energetic display full of verve and endeavour was all Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) required to snap the unbeaten start of Rivers United to this season’s Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
Sunday Faleye and Jide Apena struck either side of half time to render Lukman Mohammed’s effort in the first period purely academic and hand the hosts a richly-deserved win at a frenzied Lekan Salami Stadium, Adamasingba, Ibadan.
United actually started the brighter of the two sides and should have taken the lead in the seventh minute through Ivoirian marksman, Guy Kuemian but his header from five yards off a precise Ifeanyi Nweke cross failed to trouble the 3SC goalkeeper, Adamu Abubakar.
The visitors continued to boss possession until the 17th minute when the home side took the lead against the run of play.
Faleye, a thorn in the United flesh all afternoon, applied the finishing touch as he curled home, unmarked, from the six yard box to throw the hitherto apprehensive crowd into fits of hysteria.
That goal seemed to act as the catalyst to wave after wave attacks from the home side, pinning the visitors to their half.
Samuel Olabisi’s intelligent free kick in the 25th minute left the United goal keeper, Femi Thomas stranded but the ball came off the post and Abayomi Adebayo hammered a right-footed effort inches wide two minutes later.
Faleye, consistently lively and outstanding, turned the United captain, Festus Austin and Olalekan Gabriel inside out before pulling the trigger from 16 metres but the former recovered at the death to produce and inspired block.
United were reeling, Shooting were flying; playing some exhilarating football and the Adamasingba was shaking with emotion with the home faithful baying for blood against storied opposition that appeared to be there for the taking.
But United did not finish as last season’s NPFL runners up for nothing and were back on level terms just before the half hour.
Guy’s stunning strike in the 28th minute had surprised Abubakar in the 3SC goal but he recovered just in time to tip the ball away for a corner from which United got off the mark.
Lukman Mohammed was unmarked in the 3SC box and the attacker, pleasantly surprised at his good fortune, finished with glee to level matters to the dismay of the home fans who suddenly went quiet.
3SC would not lie down and die though and almost retook the lead straight from the restart through Apena whose swerving drive beat Thomas but came off the post – the second time the wood work would deny the home side.
Apena came close again in the 38th minute, from an acute angle, just inside the United box but this time, he got his bearings horribly wrong.
The home side continued to boss proceedings and almost put their noses in front for the second time on the day in the 43rd minute when Junior missed a sitter after some horrible defending by the visitors.
The alarm bells were truly ringing at this stage but the boys from Port Harcourt failed to heed the premonition and were almost behind with the last kick of an absolutely breathless half of football.

 Written By: Sportingking for

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