Sunshine Stars head coach Henry Abiodun [pictured] says his team was unlucky after Dolphins came from behind to pip them 2-1 at the Sharks Stadium on Saturday in the Premier League.
Oghogho Oduokpe put the Akure Gunners ahead in the fourth minute, but two second half goals from an Oduokpe own goal and Emem Eduok ensured they returned home empty-handed.
Both teams finished the ill-tempered game with 10 men as Dolphins Hope Fiberesima and Sunshine Stars Mutiu Ogundimu were shown the red card.
Abiodun insisted his team played better and that he had made substitutions to finish off the game when Ogundimu got sent off and altered his plans.
"It was one of those days when luck is not on your side. You need a little bit of luck in football," he told supersport.com.
"The moment we had a red card was the moment when we wanted to turn around the match.
"We had the better midfield from where we could launch attacks, and had brought on Dele Olorundare to finish the game off.
"Then one of my players gets dismissed and that was a bad moment for us.
"We had just moved in an offensive midfielder for a defensive one. Then from the free kick, one of my midfielders deflected the ball beyond the reach of my keeper (Ikechukwu Ezenwa).
"It would have been an easy one for him to stop. Sometimes you're not lucky because my team did very well."
He told supersport.com they outclassed Dolphins in all departments of the game.
"We played better in this game than we did against Kano Pillars in Kano, and Dolphins were very lucky to survive and win this match," he said.
"They couldn't attack us any more. They were hiding all the balls and calling for time.
"They were not confident to come out because they knew we were better than them in every department."
Sunshine Stars are 16th in the Premier League with two points from three matches