Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) of Ibadan got their campaign for promotion back to the topflight off to a flying start yesterday, defeating Rovers FC of Calabar 3-0.
Star forward, Gafar Olafimihan’s hattrick, ensured the visitors were sent back home empty handed in the NNL 2021 Group BI Match Day One encounter decided at the Dipo Dina Stadium, Ijebu-Ode.
Coach Edith Agoye rolled out a killer squad that was too hard for the visitors to curtail, with goalkeeper Tambe Charles in between the sticks, ably covered by skipper Waheed Omololu, Abbey Benson, Muritala Taye and Nurudeen Amodu.
Midfield maestro Gbadamosi Fatai, held sway in the middle alongside energetic Akilu Muhammed and Adebayo Abayomi, while Gafar Olafimihan, Chinedu Enuademu and Opeoluwa Olufemi kept the visitors’ rear busy upfront.
The coach Samson Unuanel tutored Rovers spent early parts of the game to keep the Oluyole Warriors away from their half with goalkeeper Isa Ismaila forced to pull some fantastic saves.
The Rovers backline, made up of Igiebor Jerry, Taiwo Olajide, Opeanri Fabian and Chiemezie Santos tried their best to ward off the homers’ pressure until the 16th minute when goal bound Gafar, was fouled in the 18yard box.
The referee wasted no time in pointing to the spot for a penalty kick, which Gafar himself perfectly converted.
The former Osun United forward double Shooting Stars’ lead on the 27th minute when he chipped the ball over goalkeeepr Isa Ismaila to give his team a 2-0 lead, going into the half time break.
Gafar completed the rout of the visitors with a sublime finish just five minutes into the second half.
Goalkeeper Tambe was on hand to deny the visitors any goal as Akpor Simon, Usman Bala,
Cosmas Ebere and Ilevbare Daniel made efforts to reduce the tally.
The Oluyole Warriors’ next match is a trip to Enugu, where they will confront Giant Brillars in a Match Day Two fixture billed for next Saturday.
The team were relegated from the top flight Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) four years ago, and all efforts to bring it back to the elite class have come to naught due to several reasons.