Southwest Derby: Sunshine Stars and MFM share the spoils

Southwest Derby: Sunshine Stars and MFM share the spoils

There was a late drama in Akure as Nojeem Adeyinka scored a screamer to earn MFM FC a share of the spoils with Sunshine Stars in the Southwest derby on Thursday.

Adeyinka netted the crucial equaliser in added time to cancel Israel Abia’s 64th-minute opener to deny the home side a third successive home win in the NPFL.

NPFL top scorer, Abia, took his tally to seven goals in nine matches after scoring the opening goal of the game at Akure.

But with just two minutes into added time, MFM rescued a point to end their two losing streak on the road thanks to a rifle of a shot from Adeyinka following a goal-mouth scramble.

The Southwest derby lived up to its pre-match hype, with both teams entertaining the spectators at the Township Stadium for the duration of the tie.

The two came into the game with different game plans, and stuck to them for 90 minutes. The hosts played a sleek possession game, while MFM were content to soak up pressure and play on the counter.

It was a plan that worked at the end for the Olukoya Boys but they have to thank the profligacy of their hosts for leaving with a point.

The Owena Whales could have gotten more than a point, having dominated and created the better chances to seal all three points.

Sunshine and MFM came into the game separated by just three points, and a win for either would have seen them climb higher on the log.

Well aware of this, the game started on an end-to-end note as the clubs showed their intentions early on in the encounter.

Despite a lively start, neither created anything meaningful in the opening half an hour as fans at the Akure stadium had to wait until close to half time to see the first real chance (s).

It was the Owena Whales who created the best two chances of the first half, however, while MFM’s defence seemed to have relaxed towards the end, the home side failed to make them pay.

Of the two chances, it was Anthony Omaka’s just before the break that could have seen Sunshine with the breakthrough. But the midfielder directed his effort way off the mark.

The half ended with nothing to separate the two, perhaps on the balance of play, both deserved to be level at the break.

It was a slow start, however, after the restart, but once again poor finishing, this time from Faud, saved MFM’s blushes again as their defence went to sleep again.

The home side kept piling on the pressure, and just four minutes after the break, they were rewarded when a bizarre error from MFM goalkeeper put Abia through and the forward wasted no time to put the home side 1-0 up with a calm finish.

It was no less than they deserve, as MFM were deploying some delay tactics as early as ten minutes into the second half.

A goal down, and in danger of dropping points, the Olukoya Boys came all out in search for an equaliser, which didn’t arrive until added time.

A loose ball in the Sunshine box was not dealt with by the home side, leading to a goal-mouth scramble and a ball falling kindly to Adeyinka, who rifled into the roof of the goal to draw MFM level.

An entertaining end to the game, the sort of drama that has come to characterise derbies.

Both sides share the spoils, while the visitors were the happier of the two, Sunshine Stars were made to rue those missed chances earlier in the game.

Up next for the teams, Sunshine Stars are in Port Harcourt to face Rivers United, while MFM host Adamawa United at Agege on Sunday.

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