Unbeatable Aura Shattered, Shootings stars of Ibadan Stumbles to First Home Defeat in Stunning Upset.


As the 2023/24 NPFL first stanza came to a close, The Oluyole Warriors played host to the People’s Elephant Enyimba football club of Aba to wrap up the first phase of the league. Returning home from Lagos where they picked a hard-earned victory against Sporting Lagos FC, the Oluyole warriors hoped to continue in this thread to further boost their chance of clinching the much coveted continental ticket.

The homers got off to a promising start as they took the fight to Enyimba from the first blast of the whistle. Shooting stars controlled and dictated the pace of the game as they were able to cage “the people’s Elephant”.  With so much energy and determination, the Shooting Stars attack caused the Enyimba defense line so much trouble. Midway into the first half, Shooting Stars right back, Ghally Falke fired in a brilliant low cross which was expertly connected to by forward, Ademola Kareem. He(Kareem) was “Chinesely” kicked down in the box by Enyimba’s defender and a loud call for a penalty by the home fans and Shooting Stars players was waved away by the center referee. 
All other efforts to get a goal proved abortive as the half ended goalless.

The second got on the way with the home fans solidly behind their team believing that “operation Enyimba must fall”. Shooting Stars continued from where they stopped in the first half still in control of the game. But, the destiny of the game was changed in the 56th minute when the center referee adjudged Shooting Stars' defender to have handled the ball in the box and awarded a spot kick to Enyimba. Chijioke Mbaoma stepped up for his team and sent Okemute Odah the wrong way to give the visitors the lead. 

Shooting stars players did not let the goal to dis-stabilize them as they continued to dominate this time, making Enyimba look like “an ordinary elementary school team”. Soon afterwards,a good looking cross was sent into people’s Elephants’ box.Oke Kayode got there ahead of his marker ,Oke  was clearly knocked down by the defender but, the referee turned a deaf ear to Shooting Stars’ penalty appeal and allowed play to continue. Soon,Their efforts was rewarded in the 84th minute after asking so much questions from Enyimba’s defense. Pyagbara Dumte held on to the ball in Enyimba’s box and waited for the arrival of Alex Aghahowa who put a low cross into the path of Kareem Ademola. He made no mistakes as he directed his low shot to beat the goalkeeper and leveled things up for the home team.
Shooting stars determined to go for all three points as they quickly took the ball to the middle for action to resume with five minutes of time added on. The adventurous Oluyole warriors thought they had sealed the game in the ninety third minutes when a deep cross was not properly cleared by Enyimba’s defense line. The ball was returned back at the edge of the box,the returning ball fell kindly to the feet of Shooting stars’ Aghahowa who calmly controlled with his belly and fired a good left footed shot. The ball(which appeared to have crossed the line) was then sent back by Enyimba’s Daniel Daga. To the surprise of Ibadan football loving fans,the referee waved played to continue again as the Elephant’s keeper gathered the ball. Still in the spirit of protest and shock,the keeper quickly lunched and attack into the middle of the park. A long range effort by Izuogu Chibueze caught Okemute unaware and went straight into the net to make it two goals to one in favour of the visitors.

All efforts to restore parity failed as it was too late for the warriors to fight. The final whistle was sounded by the referee as shooting stars fell to their first home defeat of the campaign in what will go down as the best performance of the team so far.
Unbeatable Aura Shattered, Shootings stars of Ibadan Stumbles to First Home Defeat in Stunning Upset. Unbeatable Aura Shattered, Shootings stars of Ibadan Stumbles to First Home Defeat in Stunning Upset. Reviewed by Confirmed sports on January 21, 2024 Rating: 5

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