Omaka, Auwalu thrill in Sunshine, Pillars 2-2 draw in Akure
Two players told the story of the Sunshine Stars versus Kano Pillars Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Matchday 17 encounter at the Akure Township Stadium, Sunday evening.
Anthony Omaka and Auwalu Ali produced a brace apiece for the 2-2 draw that saw both sides splitting points.
It was a result Sunshine Stars never wanted. Pillars had similarly held them to a nil-nil draw in the same match-up last season and Sunshine had hoped to ambush them early to have the day on their ground.
They got several close chances in the early, getting behind the Pillars back line within three minutes but Timileyin Ogunniyi’s cross went straight to Suraj Ayeleso, in goal for Pillars. Shortly after, he sliced a low cross unto the goal mouth but the others arrived to late. Ayeleso was also forced to a great save, stretching full length to cut off Seun Olulayo’s header from Wasiu Jimoh’s corner kick.
The situation looked gloomy for Pillars as they had to make an early substitution with Chinedu Ike replacing Jamil Muhammed who got a bad knock.
Sunshine’s probes paid off in the 36th when Omaka connected Wasiu Jimoh’s teasing cross and jabbed in to keep Sunshine in the lead into half time.
Pillars however resumed with greater force to equalise in three minutes of second half with Auwalu beating Ojo Olorunleke with a ferocious long range strike.
Omaka rose to the challenge of restoring Sunshine’s lead as he got the last of a set play and slotted in calmly but Auwalu would have none of it as he pranced forward to restore parity in the 70th minute from a build up with Captain Rabiu Ali.
The tension at the Akure Township Stadium was palpable. The home fans urged their players on for a win but Pillars stood firm to settle for a draw. It was quite an engaging match from two senior teams of the NPFL that kept cancelling each other until the final whistle.