🚨 || NPFL STORY: Some interesting facts about Sunshine Stars goalkeeper, Mustapha Lawal so far this season ||
▪️ He arrived Sunshine Stars as an unknown player from a tier two team, EFCC FC, Abuja for an undisclosed fee..
▪️ Since he hasn’t been tested/trusted yet in the top division, there were plans to send him out on loan but the then Sunshine Stars first choice shotstopper, Bamidele Adeniyi (now at Enugu Rangers) sacrificed his position and instead pushed for a move away from the club just so that Mustapha could thrive.
▪️ Having impressed during their preseason games, Mustapha made his first ever appearance in the Nigeria Professional Football League and conceded a goal in their 1-0 loss at Abia Warriors.
▪️ There were still doubts about his quality and many tipped Sunshine Stars for relegation this season but all of a sudden, things changed in matchday 3️⃣.
▪️ Enugu Rangers who had lost their matchday 2️⃣ against Enyimba FC, went to Ijebu Ode with the hopes of getting a win but got their biggest shocker so far this season when the likes of Ossy Martin, Christian Nnadi, Shedrack Asiegbu and the rest of their front line couldn’t get a single ball past a rebranded Mustapha Lawal in their 0-0 draw.
▪️This was when Mustapha began appearing in all-black outfit, a typical replica of the legendary Lev Yashin of blessed memories and also the reason why the fans of Sunshine Stars nicknamed him ‘Black Spider’.
▪️ Still many were not convinced about the qualities of Mustapha Lawal but yet he proved his critics wrong when he stepped up and rose to the challenge by stopping the likes of Nwagwa Nyima, Ishaq Rafiu, Chijioke Akuneto and a host of other Rivers United players after his impressive performances earned Sunshine Stars a 0-0 result against one of the best teams in the league presently.
▪️ Normally it takes a couple of weeks and maybe months for a newbie player to adapt to a new environment and league but all it took Mustapha Lawal was just one goal against Abia Warriors for him to fully adapt to the system in the Nigeria Professional Football League.
▪️ Then came another big test, unarguably his biggest test against Kano Pillars and Mustapha came up against a freekick specialist, NPFL legend, record top scorer, most influential player, all in the person of Rabiu Ali but guess what? He kept his 4️⃣th clean sheet after his team thrashed Pillars by 3-0.
▪️ Before this time, Sunshine Stars have never gone four matches without conceding a goal and not loosing a league match for 8️⃣ consecutive games but with the arrival of Mustapha Lawal, a new record was set…
▪️ It was at this moment that Sunshine Stars knew that Lawal could be trusted with atleast a point away from home and the young lad repaid Coach Ayeni’s trust by making vital saves to rescue a point for the team during their 2-2 draw at Shooting Stars..
▪️ He kept his fifth clean sheet against the reigning and defending champions, Akwa United in Uyo where he denied the likes of Ubong Friday, Stephen Chukwude goalscoring chances in their barren draw.
▪️ His fifth became his sixth at home against Lobi Stars in their 3-0 win where he nearly conceded a goal following a strike from Lobi Stars’ midfielder, Chinedu Ufere…
▪️ He was rested for their matchday 10 loss at Katsina United but returned to concede his fourth goal of the season following a bizzare goal from Enyimba’s Victor Mbaoma in their 1-0 loss at home.
▪️ Mustapha has so far been the biggest revelation in the Nigeria Professional Football League so far this campaign..
▪️ He has the best ability among his counterparts to launch a quick counter-attack from a long throw..
▪️ Scoring against Sunshine Stars is one of the toughest tasks of the opposition team especially with Mustapha Lawal in goal.
▪️ Do you know that with Lawal’s save ratio per game, there are 75.3% chance that your team might not score against Sunshine Stars? And if a team ‘manages’ to score one goal, do you also know that it is almost impossible to score the second??
▪️ Only Shooting Stars have scored 2️⃣ goals against Sunshine Stars goalkeeper Mustapha Lawal so far this season and guess what? All of these individual statistics and records only happened in the month of January…
Sunshine Stars will take on Nasarawa United this weekend in Lafia and we look forward to seeing another brilliant display from the NPFL most wanted goalkeeper..
Sunshine Stars now occupy 12th position on the table with 13 points from 10 games.
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