By John Kayode
Sunshine Stars have booked a place in the semi-finals of the 2022 Gold Cup after overcoming Hammola FC 2-0 in their last group A match at the Remo Stars Stadium, Sunday.
The Owena Whales started the game on the front foot and could have gained an early advantage when Pius Ojo found the back of the net from Mojereola Suleiman’s ping-pong ball in the 12th minute, however the effort was harshly ruled out for offside.
In the 34th minute Sunkanmi Odu made the right connection to a sumptous cross at close range, but his glancing header cannoned off the woodwork agonisingly.
Pius Ojo got some sort of reprieve for his voided goal by bundling home at the near post to break NLO campaigners resistance, with Suleiman the provider again.
Hammola played with renew vigour after the restart but Sunshine Stars were compact at the back, giving no space away with goalkeeper Osayi Kingdom up to the task when tested from range.
Nonetheless, the Edith Agoye boys remained the dominant side and could have doubled their advantage through Festus Shedrack who was denied by the frame in the 72nd minute.
Promise Awosanmi eventually made it 2-0 for Sunshine Stars, scoring from a rebound in front of goal to put the game to bed and send the Akure landlords through to the semi-finals with eight points from four matches.
Regardless of Remo Stars and Niger Tornadoes’ game outcome, Sunshine Stars will battle the winners of group B at the FC Ebedei Stadium, Shagamu on Thursday for a place in the final.
Sunshine XI | Kingdom; Akobundu, Olulayo, Adeyemi (C), Ogbuagu, Candidus, Ogbuagu, Odu (54′ Francis), Azeez (90′ Okanlawon), Pius Ojo (72′ Shedrack), Emeka (70′ Obodoagu), Mojereola (75′ Awosanmi)
Subs | Bamigboye; Dauda, Uzoechi, Adebayo, Udom, Babatunde, Obasi
Caution | Candidus 40′
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