Lobi Stars file out in Enugu against Rangers International in an NPFL 2020/21 MD 6 on Sunday 24th January, 2021 and ended the game with a reduced strength of 10 players and a barren draw at the end of it all.
True to the prematch predictions, the contest was a fierce one as both teams worked assiduously to win the game as they unarguably unfold their best with the knowledge of the fact that, the outcome of the match either way, will definitely alter the neck to neck position.
Lobi Stars took the kick at 4pm and went in for goal hunt as attack and counter attack ensued. Each attack from Rangers Int’l and Lobi Stars would always look like a goal possibility. A 1st minute free kick for Lobi Stars from about 25 mitres was taken by Mathias Samuel though strong but in to the waiting hands of Rangers Goalkeeper Nana Bonsu.
A defensive mix-up of Lobi and a mistimed move of Echeje Moses almost cost Lobi Stars an early goal in 4th minute. Zenke Tersoo of Lobi Stars was the tormentor in Chief that gave Rangers defence trouble of their lives as he kept breaking regularly from the right, credit goes to former Lobi Stars Governor Ernest who blocked out about 5 serial low crosses that were goal possibilities.
In the 27th minute, Rangers’ technical crew made two early changes in the attack to add potence to the attack as Kenechukwu Agu and Femi Ajayi replaced Shedrack Asiegbu and Christian Nnaji, 3 minutes later, stand in captain Mathias Samuel received a yellow card for a tackle against 10 shirted Ogochukwu Ugwuoke which was adjudged cautionable by the Referee.
The fire works of the game extend the first half to 45 +4 minutes, in the 45+3 minutes another yellow card was issued to Lobi Stars Zenke Tersoo and free kick to Rangers about 30 metres away from the goal but Governor Ernest’s shot went wide of the goal. The Centre Referee call for half time after the goal kick awarded to Lobi Stars as a result of the off target shot by Governor Ernest.
The second half resumed this time Rangers with the kick off by Israel Abia. 8 minutes in to the second half, Ossy Martins got the biggest goal opportunity of the game when Douglas Achiv’s intended shot at goal located him with only the Rangers goal keeper to beat but his lack lustre shot was effortlessly picked up by Nana Bonsu.
Austin Ogunye was replaced by Chinonso Okonkwo in the 54th minute. Okonkwo’s first contact with the ball turned a night mare for Rangers as he took a solo effort in to the right side of the opponents penalty area, because of the solo run, he found himself alone among opponents and was left with a compulsory option of attempting an impossible shot at goal but narrowly miss target.
Ossy Martins magically eliminated 2 Rangers defenders in 66th minute, out ran them but his shot at goal was saved in to corner kick by Goal keeper Nana Bonsu.
In the 80th minute of play, Lobi Stars Abdulwasiu Mahmud took over from clear footed Zenke Tersoo, 3 minutes after the substitution, Ossy Martins was caught by the referee attempting a retaliation as a result of induced provocation from Rangers right full back Osas Okoro and got a straight red card.
Mathew Owolijah a central defender was finally introduced by Kabiru Dogo in the 87th minute to replace Mathias Samuel and protect the goal as a result of the numerical disadvantage arising from the red card, a job he did well to the end.
The Referee extend the game by 5 minutes added time but the last minute desperation of Rangers couldn’t break the defensive coherence of Tsehuan, Aghahowa and newly introduced Owolijah as the game ended 0-0.
Lobi Stars will be back to Makurdi to receive warning struck Imama Amapakabo tutored Abia Warriors in a make of mar game for the technical crew as their 3 match target already looks unachievable, having ran 2 of the games without a win.