Shooting Stars played a goalless draw against Gombe United today, in their first league match of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), at Pantami stadium.
Reports have it that, Shooting Stars goalkeepers, Dare Dede and Laide Okanlawon were the heroes as they both rescued Oluyole Warriors in each half from defeat, and secured a point in a week one of the Nigeria Professional Football League 2021/2022 season.
Meanwhile, a former Shooting Stars Player and Chief Coach of the team, Edith Agoye has showered praises on his players saying they had a great game against the scorpions.
He singled out both Dare Dede and Laide Okanlawon for the number of saves that denied the home side.
At the first half, Dare Dede denied Gombe United chances of finding the back of the net with his brilliant performances and what could have been a opener for the scorpions was aborted by Dare Dede, who brilliantly saved a terrific shot from United attacker, few minutes after kick-off.
The brilliant saves by Dede ensured Shooting Stars kept a first half clean sheet after seven saves in the first 32nd minutes. The Warriors woke up lately but survived Gombe United onslaught before the centre referee separated both teams for halftime break.
In the second half, injured Dede was replaced by Laide Okanlawon (MON) and was booked at the 68th minutes for dissent. Okanlawon continued from where Dede stopped with numbers of saves to denied the home side.
In an attempt to get the lead, Gombe United made three changes, Abdulazeez Yusuf was replaced for Muhammed Hussaini while Bature Sani and Sani Sulaiman replaced Samaila Bello and Ibrahim Yahaya respectively.
Shooting Stars also made their first substitution at the 62nd minutes with Ebenezer Odeyemi replacing Sochima Elum. The second came at the 76th minute when new player, Wasiu Alalade was brought in for Malomo Taofeeq.
Shooting Stars’ Henry Ndidi was sent off for a second booking at the 83rd minutes, creating a difficult period for the visitors at the injury time.
However, a late strong punch by Laide Okanlawon that denied Kelechi Chimezie’s shot gave 10-man Shooting Stars, their first point on the road.
Agoye relating some of the challenges they encountered said, “I’m not disappointed with the result, Gombe United played very well, they kept on attacking from/the kick-off. We had some difficulties because of the distance from Ibadan, it took us two to three days but my players did very well.
“Looking at the game, Gombe United dominated and deserved to win but were unable to take their chances and our goalkeepers were up to the task. We didn’t come here to defend but probably our players are tired, because of the journey and fatigue set in. I’m happy we get a point.
“We met a Gombe United that are very strong, aggressive and press a lot. It was difficult to execute our game but it was a point we deserved”, he said.
Agoye therefore assured of maximum of three points in their next fixture against Akwa United while also commending the match officials for a good officiating.