Honours were even in a clash of familiar foes as Sunshine Stars FC of Akure and Lobi Stars of Makurdi settled for a dramatic 1-1 draw in a week 19 Nigeria Professional Football League game in Akure.
Former Sunshine Stars stalwart Samad Kadri had put the visitors up late on in the game but a Jide Fatokun header in added time ensured a share of the spoils.
Lobi Stars, led by former Sunshine Stars coach Solomon Ogbeide paraded four ex-Sunshine Stars players in Ayo Saka, Solomon Kwambe, Cletus Itodo and Aliassou Sanou as both sides rekindled their rivalry.
The game started brightly with Sunshine Stars dominating and creating most of the chances but Franklin Sasere and Dayo Ojo missed close opportunities and the first half ended goalless.
Sunshine Stars began the second forty-five minutes where they left off in the first and the referee pointed to the spot after Sikiru Alimi was hacked in the box. To the amazement of the home fans however, Alimi fired into the safe hands of Olufemi Kayode on his VAT Wonder Goal payday.
Time ticked down and tackles were flying as the pressure mounted on the home team and both coaches made tactical changes. Lobi brought on Samad Kadri and Chinda for Adeshina Thomas and Cletus Itodo while Yahuza Bala, Anthony Omaka and Abiodun Joseph came on for Sunshine Stars in place of Sunday Emmanuel, Kehinde Addis and Franklin Sasere.
In the 89th minute, Samad Kadri rose to haunt his former club, turning in a rebound with his head to give Lobi Stars the lead.
There was still however something to play for in five minutes added time as Sunshine Stars launched a response attack. Jide Fatokun rose high to head home the equalizer from Joseph Abiodun’s cross late into added time.
With the result, Lobi Stars remain on top of the log with 34 points from 18 games while Sunshine Stars are still endangered with 21 points from 19 games as the league heads for the mid season break.