By Femi Atolagbe
Heartland Football Club of Owerri proved too hard for Sunshine Stars, as they forced the Akure Landlords to a 1-1 draw.
The Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) decided at the Ondo State Sports Complex, Akure saw Pascal Eze put the visitors ahead after headed home from a corner kick in the 16th minute of the encounter.
The Akure Landlords shrugged off the goal and put pressure on the visitors, their efforts resulted in penalty in the 32nd minute which was waved off by the center referee.
The first of the match ended in favour of the visitors.
Sunshine Stars continued their pressing at the restart of the second half ,as Sadeeq Yusuf efforts to give the hosts the leveller in the 66th minute from a lay up was deflected wide, before he was denied by a goal line clearance in the 68th minute.
The home team made some tactical changes which gave more bite to their attacking force team, which resulted in the visitors being punished for handball in the area in the 70th minute.
The league highest goal scorer, Sadeeq Yusuf stepped forward converted from the spot to end the match 1-1.
Sunshine Stars coach, Gbenga Ogunbote while speaking with Journalists after the encounter said “it’s a two point loss to his team, this a game we shouldn’t have lost under normal situation, it is a forgone match, all we need to do is to go back home and work harder ahead of other games.”
He added “that anywhere his team have a level playing groud that he is confident his team will always get a positive result.”
Heartland Coach, Fidelis Ilechukwu commended his boys for grabbing a point away from home, saying his team was the better team in the encounter.
“We are getting back to the league with the injection of fresh players into the team after our ban was lifted, we are not going to put pressure on our players, as we will be approaching every games as they come.”