Match Report: Niger Tornadoes becloud Sunshine Stars

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Niger Tornadoes stretched their unbeaten run to five games under coach Hamza Abara with a slim 1-0 win over Sunshine Stars of Akure in a match day 14 Nigeria Professional Football League game.

A spirited Sunshine Stars, led by Coach Henry Abiodun were subdued before they could even start a fight at the Boka Kontagora stadium,  Minna, thanks to an early goal by Austin Igenepo.

The game kicked off quietly and proceedings wasn’t loud too but eyebrows were raised in the 8th minute when Austin Igenepo stabbed home from close range to give Tornadoes an early advantage.

The ball didn’t appear to have crossed the line, but referee Benito Okonkwo waved the goal on and signaled a restart.

Sunshine Stars almost replied immediately with a sublime free-kick by Abe Sunday, but the long serving captain watched his effort miss the target by whiskers.

In the 25th minute, Kehinde Adedipe combined with Minna home boy, Yahuza Bala on the edge of the Tornadoes box but his low shot went straight into the hands of Mustapha Aliko.

A chance to certainly double the advantage came the way of Niger Tornadoes in the 69th minute, but Reuben Ogbonanya’s bended free-kick missed by inches.

With Tornadoes pressing for a second, Sunshine Stars still managed to carve openings in their hosts back line and had a penalty appeal turned down by the referee in the 69th minute after Sikiru Alimi was seemed to have been pulled down in the box.

Sunshine Stars stood firm denying Tornadoes a second goal but their own efforts to level the scoreline met an equally resolute home team who were determined to extend their unbeaten run to five games.

The Akure Landlords dropped to 18th on the log with 16 points from 14 matches and they will have another chance to better their lot when they host Kwara United on match day 15 in Akure.

Niger Tornadoes after their impressive run of form moved up to 5th with 20 points from 16 matches. They will next travel to Calabar to face seven time-champion, Enyimba of Aba.

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