Delta Stars labored to a 1 – 0 victory over Ikorodu United on Thursday to kick-start their campaign in the second half of the Nigeria National League,NNL,National Daily learnt.
The game, played at the Ughelli Township Stadium, was Coach David Ochei’s first game in charge in the league and he fielded a strong starting XI that has a blend of old and new players.
The match began with the two teams trying to size up one another and playing with a high sense of caution on the soft turf at the Ughelli Township Stadium.
While Ikorodu United struggled to find their rhythm, it was Delta Stars that looked like the side that would score first.
Stars were on the front foot and created scoring chances as the first half progressed with striker, Maurice James, proving to be a handful for the visitors’ defence line.
However, Stars’ efforts eventually paid off deep into added time, when one of the Ikorodu United defenders needlessly brought down Maurice’s strike partner, Douye Golden, inside the vital area and the central referee pointed to the spot.
The resultant penalty was coolly dispatched into the roof of the net by Maurice James, after he sent the goalkeeper the wrong way.
The first half thereafter came to an end with Delta Stars as the side in the ascendency.
On resumption of the second half of the encounter, the two teams considerably stepped up their efforts to cancel out one another.
But Delta Stars was still the better side in the second stanza of the tie, as they were strongly looking for a second goal to put the game to bed.
The match eventually ended 1 – 0 in favour of the hosts.
An elated coach David Ochei praised his wards for winning the encounter, saying the team would continue to work hard in the league.
“As you can see, it was a good game,” he said emphatically. “It was a game of man to man. I commend my players for winning the game. We all know what’s at stake”.
Delta Stars will play their next game in the league on Sunday and it is against Ikorodu United at the Soccer Temple Stadium, Agege Lagos.