Plateau United Football Club of Jos defeated Sunshine Stars of Akure 3-1 to remain top of the 2016/2017 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
Sunshine Stars were reduced to 10 men in the 27th minute when Saka Ayo earned a straight red card after a tackle on Plateau United’s Philip Azango on Sunday.
Shortly after the incident, United went close to breaking the deadlock during a goalmouth scramble but the shot at goal went wide.
However, Benjamin Turba gave the Jos-based club the lead they craved for in the 44th minute of the encounter.
Kabiru Umar doubled United’s lead in the 70th minute through a header to Ogene Elijah’s cross.
Substitute Emeka Umeh put the match beyond the reach of the visitors when he made it 3-0 in the 79th minute.
Umeh almost got a double for himself when he rounded the Sunshine goalkeeper to face an empty net, but his effort went just wide.
The visitors got a consolation goal in the last minute of the match.
Kayode Olujohungbe, the Sunshine Stars’ coach, later blamed poor officiating for Ayo’s sending-off and his team’s defeat.
He said there was no reason for the red card and contended that Plateau United’s first goal was scored from an offside position.
The coach, however, said his team would put its house in order and improve on getting better results, having won only one of their first two matches.
But Kennedy Boboye, Plateau United’s Chief Coach, saw nothing wrong with the officiating, insisting that his side’s victory was well-deserved.
Boboye said the team was still on course in achieving its target of 15 points from their first five games.
He however expressed concern at their los concentration towards the end of matches, which saw his team concede two late goals in the last two matches.
Meanwhile, Philip Azongo of Plateau United has been voted the man of the match for the second time in two matches.