Anthony Silva hails Sunshine stars for draw with Rivers United
Enterprising young centre back, Anthony ‘Silva’ Anioke has hailed his Sunshine Stars teammates performance in their week four encounter against Rivers United.
Anthony played the entire 90 minutes of the match as the ‘Resolute Stars’ held the ‘Pride of Rivers’ to a goalless draw at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, Portharcourt on Sunday with goalkeeper Mustapha Lawal in an inspiring form for the Akure based outfit.
Reacting to the result, the former Ekiti United Assistant Captain said the players executed the game plan of Coach Deji Ayeni led technical crew which enabled them to get a draw at the Amasiemeka stadium fortress of Rivers United side.
Rivers United had been riding on a wave of good form that saw them pick a famous win at Enyimba on matchday three.
But resolute defending by the Anthony Silva led defence and agility of goalkeeper Mustapha Lawal kept the Rivers team at bay.
Silva commended the unity of purpose and determination of the players and the support if the coaching crew and management of the team.
“The team is gradually getting into too gear as the season progresses and we are determined to deliver on our target, all we need is patience and support from the fans”, he added.
The hosts started the game on the front foot, and had their first attempt at goal in the eighth minute when Chijioke Akuneto headed just high from Ebube Duru’s cross.
Moment later, the Owena Whales took hold off possession and sent Nwogbaga Patrick Ebonam through, but the lanky forward’s effort from the edge kept rising.
Then at the other end the visitors were relieved to see Mustapha tip over from Akuneto’s smashing volley inside the area in the 17th minute, as United regained their measure of control.
The young goalkeeper was also on hand to repel a dangerous free kick at the near-post just before the break, a feat he replicated in the 65th minute to frustrate the Pride of Rivers.
As well as being resilient, Sunshine Stars were also positive on the break and went close to breaking the deadlock through substitute, Kamaru Adebari who fired narrowly wide at the end of a brilliant counter-attacking move, 20 minutes from time.
United picked up the intensity in the closing minutes, but were only able to trouble the visitors through dead balls as clear-cut opportunities were at a premium all game.
Mustapha composed goalkeeping, supplemented by a good defensive organisation ensured Rivers United did not find a way through during a late onslaught as Sunshine Stars earned their first away point of the new season.
Sunshine Stars Coach, Deji Ayeni’s said his young team is getting better and will be boosted by the result against a big team like Rivers United.
He said:”Last time I said no team that is not beatable, it depends on the readiness of the players and tactical approach; Rangers lost at home and came to our back yard to get a draw, so there is nothing that is impossible in football. I give it to the boys for their cheer determination.
“I knew Rivers have fast wingers and told my boys to focus more on the first and second third and when I observed they were in more hurry and anxious in the second half I applied my second game plan with the substitutes. Like I have said before this is a young team, the more they play the more they get better. This will boost their morale and confidence.”, he added
Sunshine Stars host Kano Pillars at the Dipo Dina Stadium, Ijebu Ode on matchday five