Remo Stars on Wednesday maintained its unbeaten run in the southwest derby this season with a 1-1 draw against Shooting Stars at the Lekan Salami Stadium, Ibadan in an NPFL matchday 31 clash.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Coach Gbenga Ogunbote made three changes to the side that lost 1-3 to Kano Pillars with Ewelike Edozie on for Seun Ogunribide at left back while Tolulope Ojo off from being victorious at the WAFU B U20 championship with the Flying Eagles took the place of Lekan Adebayo just as Ifegwu Ojukwu was preferred to Ibrahim Yusuf.
With a cagey start to the game, Remo Stars were awarded a penalty in the 8th minute as Sikiru Alimi was brought down in the area with the referee pointing to the spot.
Sikiru Alimi dusted himself and drilled home to the bottom left to give the sky blue stars the lead.
The advantage didn’t last for long as Ebuka Anaekwe powered home a header from an inswinger freekick by Sunday Aklechi to leave the game level just inside 15mins.
The visitors were the first to receive a caution in the 20th minute when Tolulope Ojo was given a yellow card for an off the ball foul.
The host would however get into the referee’s book too as Sunday Akleche was shown a yellow card for upending Abayomi Adebayo right on the halfway line.
Qudus Akanni skipped past two blue shirts from the right but couldn’t direct his effort on target, the action coming in the 40th minute.
With 5mins left of the first half, a cross was flashed across the face of goal but Tolulope Ojo couldn’t connect as the chance went agonizingly wide.
The second half started with Shooting Stars in an attacking phase of their own but the Remo Stars defence had answers to their questions.
Sikiru Alimi tried to create an opening from the right but fell off himself as another chance went begging two minutes before the hour mark.
Shooting Stars came through with an opportunity to take the lead with most of their shots from outside the box going off target.
Not to be deterred, Ifegwu Ojukwu tried a spectacular from way out with in the 67th minutes that had the goalkeeper scrambling to a corner kick that amounted to nothing for the visitors.
With the game wearing off, Coach Ogunbote rejigged his team with the withdrawal of Dayo Ojo, Tolulope Ojo and Sikiru Alimi for fresh legs of Haruna Hadi, Samuel Anaekwe and Ibrahim Yusuf.
There was to be no further clear cut chance for Shooting Stars as Remo Stars saw off a vital away point.
The sky blue stars have now played four southwest derbies this season, winning three and drawing one while the team remains unbeaten.
WHAT IT MEANS
The draw sees Remo Stars drop to 5th on the NPFL log with 47 points from 31 matches.
The team, having returned to Ikenne will now start preparations for their matchday 32 visitors, Gombe Utd on the 5th June, 2022.