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Ifeju Ojukwu's 76th minutes goal was all that made the difference in Saturday's South West derby between Osun United of Osogbo and Shooting Stars Sports Club of Ibadan.

The Nigeria National League (NNL) Group B1 match day five encounter lived up to the billings as the two sides battled for the all important maximum points.

The Osogbo Township Stadium witnessed a large turn out of soccer lovers as the United fans trooped out to support their team but met a stiff competition from the travelling 3SC supporters and fans led by the Chairman, Shooting Stars Supporters Club, Femi Oyeniyi.

Coach Edith Agoye made few changes to the starting eleven he paraded against Bayelsa United as the trio of Ayobami Junior, Aderemi Yusuf and recuperating Francis Anene were not listed while Ojukwu made his first start for the Oluyole Warriors.

As expected, the Omoluabi Giants, needing the maximum points to stay safe on the log, tried to stamp their authority in the opening exchanges in the game which had referee Joy Ogunboye from Ondo state directing proceedings

Spearheaded by ex 3SC defender, Suraj Sadiq, the coach Samson Unuanel tutored sides attempted to seize the initiatives with Abdulrahman Rahman, Adio Yusuf, Suleiman Ajibade and Mehmud Akorede holding forth in the midfield.

However, the defence line of 3SC made up of skipper Waheed Omololu, Taiwo Muritala, Nurudeen Amodu Isiaka Mutiu and Abbey Benson were able to stop United's dangerous striker, Gafar Olafimihan and his partner, Andrew Kasgat from getting the ball past equally alert goalkeeper Lucky Jimoh in goal for 3SC.

For the large part of the first half, 3SC were unable to play their usual free flow pattern, no thanks to the Sandy pitch but Mohammed Akilu, Gbadamosi Fatai and Opeoluwa Olufemi did all they could to control the game .

Ifeju Ojukwu was however, the host tormentor in chief as he kept Sadiq, David Mark, Afolabi Olatubosun and Daniel Edeh busy.

The first half, which ended goalless, did not go without a negative side as United goalkeeper, Nurudeen Lateef was forced to exit the game after landing awkwardly in an attempt to punch the ball. He was replaced with Anderson Okakem.




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Both sides had all to play for in the second half but it was the Oluyole Warriors that displayed more hunger for goal as they mount more pressure on the homers in search of the opener.

The introduction of Ahmed Rasheed in Shooting Stars' forward, added bite to the attack and this paid off in the 76th minute when Ojukwu finally broke the deadlock.

Fatai Gbadamosi benefited from a faulty clearance by the Osun United backline and he wastes no time locating Ojukwu who found his way through to the vital area before calmly placing the ball at the far right of goalkeeper Okakem for the only goal of the game.

Efforts by the Omoluabi Giants to, at least salvage a point, proved abortive as 3SC players held their nerves to defend the goal till the final whistle.

The victory, the third in a row for the Oluyole Warriors keep them on top of the log with ten (10) points from four matches while Bayelsa United are placed second with six points same as Giant Brillars who shocked Abia Commets  1-0 on the road also on Saturday.

Comets, with the home loss to Brillars, dropped to fourth position with five points from four matches while Osun United are rooted to the bottom with just a point from four games.

Second round of matches begin this weekend, baring any change, with 3SC hosting Osun United while Comets will visit Enugu as guests of Giant Brillars.


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