Sunshine Stars entertaining and impressive run at the maiden edition of the Governor Wike Unity Cup ended on high with a 4-1 penalty shootout win over Rivers United at the Sharks Stadium, Port-harcourt on Saturday.
Sunshine Stars and United regrouped for the Garden City Preseason Football Tournament’s final show down six hours after overcoming MFM and Abia Warriors in the semifinals.
Despite the little or no time for recovery from the morning’s semis exertions, both sides succeeded largely in defying sports science by putting up a decent display under the floodlights from a tight opening half.
Nonetheless more openings were created after the restart, with the best chance of the cagey contest falling to marauding striker, Chibundu Amah whose glancing header was repelled astonishingly by United’s goalkeeper, Drissa Bamba.
With the players visibly fatigued 15 minutes from time, Seun Olualyo made a decisive clearance to deny United a chance at goal, while Ayo Ojo was on hand to repel a goal-bound low drive during a dominant spell for the Pride of Rivers.
However in the 89th minute, Peter Ibe almost broke the deadlock for the coach Kabiru Dogo tinkered side with a deflected low drive that was surprisingly kept out by the impressive Bamba.
During the ensuing spot kicks, Ayo Ojo, like he did in the Gold Cup semifinal win over Remo Stars remarkably stopped Peter Ibikanma’s effort after Chigozie Ihunda had blazed high for United.
The save set the tone for a decisive spot kick expertly converted by captain, Sunday Abe to secure a second 2018/19 preseason trophy for the Akure Landlords on 4-1.