- Sports Commissioner commends Elegbeleye led management
The management of Sunshine Stars have attributed the feat achieved by the team in the just concluded Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season to Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu’s penchant for service delivery.
The Akure Landlords edged Remo Stars 1-0 in a Southwest derby at the Gateway Stadium, Shagamu to end the season well above the drop zone, finishing 10th on the log with 54 points, and Chairman of the Interim Management Committee of the Ondo State Football Agency (ODSFA), Otunba Gbenga Elegbeleye was full of praises for the Governor while reflecting on the journey to safety.
“The governor shortly after assuming office found the team in a precarious situation and he swung to action by constituting our committee for a rescue mission. When we took over the team was placed 19th, pratically at the bottom given Rivers United four outstanding matches at the time and now to God be the glory we avoid relegation”
“This feat is a taste of Aketi’s commitment to service delivery and this also prove the Governor is result oriented. We are grateful to the governor for his huge support and commitment. Thanks to Duke Udi, the players and other officials for their hard work towards the goal.
“Now my assignment is over but I will be supporting from the background. The assignment given to my committee by the governor was to paddle Sunshine Stars, Queens out of relegation and sanitise the Agency and I feel great we have accomplished these.” Elegbeleye disclosed to Sunshine Stars FC Media.
Also during an interview member of the Interim Committee of ODSFA, Tunde Ogunja shared the sentiments of the former Director General of the National Sports Commission while Ondo new Sports Commissioner, Saka Yusuf Ogunleye who was also on ground for the game on Saturday commended the Elegbeleye led management for a job well done.
Saka Yusuf stated: “I am a lucky man; this is my second outing with Sunshine Stars and it is another victory. I thank Governor Akeredolu for rescuing the team through the Elegbeleye led management. The committee have done a great job and we are still looking forward to winning the FA (AITEO) Cup. The people should expect rapid sports development under this new government.”
2)FA (AITEO) Cup Round of 16: Sunshine Queens force Bayelsa Queens to 0-0 draw in Akure
Sunshine Queend FC on Wednesday forced Bayelsa Queens to a 0-0 draw at the Ondo State Sports Complex, Akure in the round of 16 of the Nigeria Women AITEO Cup.
The home team were determined to win the match but the goals were not coming. Both team’s defense and goalkeepers were brilliant throughout the encounter.
According to the Captain of the team, Adeola Aminu, “Our performance was not too encouraging but we are ready to work more and improve on our game against the second leg this weekend in Bayelsa.
“We were determined from the beginning to the end but the goals were not coming. Its was a difficult game hopefully we will do it in Bayelsa.
“We played a good team but we played below expectations. We will work on all department in the team so we can do better in the return leg.” she said
“Game of football is unpredictable, if they can come here and get a draw, it is also possible for us to go to Bayelsa and equally get either a win or a draw. If we however get a draw, it means we will go into penalty shot-out and in penalty shout-out, anything can happen”.
With the outcome of the match, the Akure based team will travel to Bayelsa for the second leg this weekend to determine which team advanced to the next state of the tournament.
Meanwhile, Ezekiel Thompson scored twice as Sunshine Stars eased to a comfortable 3-1 win over giant killers, Ngwa FC in a AITEO Cup round 16 match at the Abakaliki Township Stadium on Wednesday.
As expected Sunshine Stars were stiffened by the physicality of the home side in the early exchanges of the game, however in the 17th minute youngster, Franklin Sasare found a space during a goal mouth melee to poke home and handed the visitors a 1-0 first half advantage.
The Akure Landlords appeared lax in some moments of the second period and that gifted Ngwa FC the chance to create some openings but the non-league side were let down by poor finishing and composure in front of Henry Ayodele’s goal on two good occasions.
Sunshine Stars killed off Ngwa’s hope of equaliser eight minutes from time when substitute, Ezekiel Thompson’s ferocious effort from a lose ball swerved in into the top right corner. Thompson who recently made a return from a knee injury completed his brace in the 86th minute, heading home Stars third from Ezekiel Boboye’s cross.
The underdogs were gifted a chance for consolation goal late on when their more illustrious visitors got penalised: Boboye was adjudged to have commited a foul in the area and Okoro Johnson made no mistake in dispatching the spot kick past Ayodele.
In the end the Duke Udi tutored side brought the fary tale run of Ngwa FC to an end with a 3-1 win and secured a place in the quarter finals of the rebranded oldest football competition in Nigeria.
In a post match interview member of Sunshine Stars coaching crew, Tony Alegbe and two goal hero Thompson reflected on the tricky tie and both revealed the team intend to keep moving forward in the AITEO Cup.
Alegbe: “As expected It was a difficult game. As you can see the first half was very tight and in football no game is won or lose until the 90th minute but in the end experience came to play. We have to keep on fighting until the end.”
Thompson: “Just coming back from injury as a team player, I know I have to give my best to the team and that I did with the two goals. We know they (Ngwa) won against a big team but football games are not exactly the same. Our target is all about wining till we get to the final and when we get to the final the cup is ours.”