Lobi Stars Football Club Sunday 3rd January 2021 recorded their first win inside the main bowl of The Aper Aku stadium Makurdi in Match Day 2 of The NPFL 2020/2021 season, as they beat visiting MFM 1-0 through Ossy Martins 71st minute header.
Game kicked off at exactly 4 PM off the foot of MFM’s Olayinka Yusuf with both sides looking promising as attack and counter attack ensued. The first goal opportunity of the game came in the 5th minute when Ossy Martins break away in between two defender slightly on the left side of the penalty area but his left footed shot at goal slightly missed the target on the near post.
An 11th minute through pass beat the defence of Lobi Stars but both william Obata and Dennis Obasi of MFM were left behind by Lobi Stars defense as they were glaringly caught in offside positions.
Lobi Stars Austin Ogunye who was the highest goal scorer during the preseason clashed with Clement Obasi in 19th minute looking helpless as the centre referee stopped to administer fair play and call for medical attention. Both players were stretchered out but return in to play.
The second goal possibility for Lobi Stars came when defending mid field player Osimaga Duke came from the defense to take advantage of a defensive kick to thunder home a shot that was saved by the brilliant goal keeping of Osayi Kingdom in the 21st minute.
A 38 minute quick reversal from defense to attack by MFM almost paid off but the cross was headed in to corner kick by Ebube Duru. Aniyikaye Adeleye who stood in the Lobi Stars defense as a collosus blocked out a cross from MFM in the 41st minute. 45+1 Lobi Stars frantically made efforts to end the first half with at least a goal up, but anxiety and the resistant defensive work of MFM kept the score line barren as the centre referee sounded his whistle to end the first half at 45+3 minutes.
Upon resumption, Lobi Stars increased the search for goal as MFM started application of frustrating tactics. Lobi seemed unperturbed as they kept the pressure. The pressure almost paid when a clinical build up from the middle between Onuwa Chukwuka, Douglas Achiv found Ebube Duru on the left his pass located Ossy Martins who screen through MFM’s defense effortlessly but his final shot at goal was saved by Goal keeper Osayi Kingdom.
In 64th minute, Coach Kabiru Dogo in a bid to add bite, introduced Chinonso Okonkwo and Mathias Samuel to take over from Onuwa Chukwuka and Tiza Samuel. The substitution proved effective as the only goal of the match came 7 minutes later when Ebube Duru’s customary left side power cross flew across the goal mouth and was returned by brilliant right full back rookie Buruku John to Mathias Samuel, his extended header located Ossy Martins who headed to the far left as Goal keeper Osayi Kingdom watched in awe as the ball hit the back of the net for Lobi Stars first and only goal of the game.
MFM quickly dropped the earlier tactics and started pushing for equalizer but the defense of Lobi Stars manned by Adeleye Aniyikaye and Yisa Anifowoshe proved too tough for MFM.
The pressure from MFM was short lived as Lobi Stars took over the search to increase the goal margin but missing haul continued. The nearest opportunity came when Ossy Martins would have made a brace as his 90th minute bicycle flip kick missed the goal narrowly. The Centre Referee signaled for end of the game at 90+3 minutes.