RESCHEDULED MATCH DAY 16 OF 38
LOBI STARS LOST GALLANTLY TO ENYIMBA IN ABA 2-1.
Two first half goals by Victor Mbaoma in the 8” and Farouk Mohammed’s 40′ penalty put Enyimba in the lead and made it difficult for Lobi Stars to stage a come back in an NPFL 2020/2021 rescheduled Match Day 16 in Aba.
It was a keenly contested game as both teams approached as if their lives depended on it. Enyimba a team know in recent times to be a first half team escaped the tactical game plan of Lobi Stars by taking the lead early as Monday Akile’ fall back defense effort led to mix up between him and Moses Tsehuan who’s clearance effort was to the advantage Enyimba, a quick relaunch found Reuben Bala on right edge of the penalty area, his cross was converted by Victor Mbaoma to put Enyimba ahead in the 7″.
17 ” extent of play, John Lazarus, who was playing in front of Chinedu Ozor caved in from a quick reverse attack, his long cross located Monday Akile whose unpreparedness in front goal gave Enyimba’s defense an advantage to push the ball in to corner kick.
Lobi Stars in their quest to equalize got a free kick in the left defending third of Enyimba in the 25″, an extended pass to John Lazarus resulted to long but power packed shot from the free kick from 25 mitres in to the shaky hands of Goalkeeper Olufemi Kayode, but there was no available offensive player to take advantage as the distance of the shot at goal could not allow for close player to convert.
Young home boy Monday Akile who has been exciting in his recent home games couldn’t reproduce his home form and has to give way for Nnamdi Egbujuo in the 36″. One minute after the substitution, Enyimba’s Ozor Philip was booked for using excessive force on Mecurial Onuwa Chukwuka who was a toast of Aba fans, despite their fanatical love for Enyimba.
Enyimba got yet another chance in the 40″ as Tsehuan Moses in an attempt to make up for a defensive error obstructed the movement of Reuben Bala and the referee awarded a penalty that was converted by Captain of the side Farouk Mohammed for the second goal. Another yellow card was issued to Lobi Stars’ Abiodun Kayode and shortly after the centre Referee called for half time.
Coach Kabiru Dogo brought in Sani Mohammed to replace Abiodun Kayode as he debut for Lobi Stars at halftime. 5″ in to the second half, Enyimba succumb to Lobi Stars early second half pressure and conceded a Penalty Kick as Enyimba’s defence ace Farouk Mohammed handled the ball in the Penalty area, Ossy Martins converted it masterfully to make his 8th goal of the season and keep the burning hope alive.
Nwabali Stanley effortlessly stopped what would have increased the goal tally and compound issues as former Lobi Stars player Samad Kadiri made his best effort from a long shot in 53″ of the game. Ozor Chinedu was issued another yellow card for showing descent.
The regular exchange of fire works from both sides gives fans much to cheer as the game became more unpredictable. Victor Mbaoma and Cyril Olisema came close in the 65″ and 66″.
Samad Kadiri who was cagged all through the game by Lobi Stars defence was replaced by Orok Gabriel in the 67″ while Onuwa Chukwuka who gave in his all got fagged out and have to give way for Douglas Achiv in 68″ as Chinonso Okonkwo finally took over from John Lazarus.
5 minutes to full time, Stanley Nwabali who was outstanding in the game made another master save as last man Tsehuan Moses slipped on the wet turf leaving Victor Mbaoma with the goalkeeper but Nwabali stretched full length to punch out a low drive from Mbaoma.
All last minutes effort of Lobi Stars to equalize proved abortive as The Centre Referee end the game at 90+3 added time.
Lobi Stars are still maintaining the 8th position on the log despite the loss as the will be heading to Uyo in Akwa Ibom to confront Dakkada in an NPFL Match Day 25.