Goals from Nanen Imenger, Okpotu Anthony and Tyavkase David gave Lobi Stars a 3-1 win over Shooting Stars Sports Club of Ibadan.
The Match Day 21 fixture of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) was played at the Aper Aku Stadium in Makurdi on Wednesday.
Shooting Stars travelled with only 15 players and it was the second game for their coach, Gbenga Ogunbote who returned to the club for their Match Day 20 tie against Akwa United on Sunday. Shooting won that tie 3-0.
Shooting Stars were the first to make an attempt at scoring when on the 3rd minute a good move got Sunday Adetunji dance past three players from right side only to give the ball away. The home side then asserted themselves, imposing their own match plan with a nice build up that resulted in Imenger beating goalkeeper Fabiyi with a low shot for the day’s opener.
Lobi Stars had the chance to make it two when on the sixth minute Ayagwu Rapheal came one-on-one with Fabiyi, but the goalkeeper produced a scintillating save. Five minutes later a foul on Patrick Ikeokwu resulted in an indirect kick, the delivery found Imenger but the forward blasted over. He should have made amends on the 22nd minute when he received a through pass from Shehu Nasiru but again he shot off target from close range.
The visitors were denied by a goal line clearance on the 37th minute after goalkeeper Odah Okiemute in goal for Lobi Stars was beaten and the chance landed on Ebiaku Promise whose shot was swept off the line.
At the stroke of half time, Yinka Adedeji levelled for the visitors after his free kick took a deflection and beat Okiemute.
Okpotu restored Lobi’s lead in the 49th minute from a penalty after Ikeokwu was fouled in the box.
A repeat almost emerged when Shooting Stars effort resulted in a free kick and again Adedeji stepped up but this time, his shot was wide off the post.
Ogunbote brought on Gege Soriola and Joy Olubodun for Suraj and Fawaz, while Lobi coach Godwin Uwua replaced Ajia and Ikeokwu with Tyavkase and Akleche. The changes by Uwua were the masterstroke as Akleche brought in pace, his team became dominant, it wasn’t long when in the 83rd minute he set Tyavkase free and the midfielder moved to a tight corner and scored an unbelievable goal. That but all ended Shooting Stars hope of salvaging a point.
They had a chance to reduce the tally three minutes to the end when Ojukwu Ifegwu failed to convert a begging chance from close range.
After the game, Ogunbote said: “The game has been won and lost, we just have to go and make amends where necessary.”
Lobi assistant coach, Barnabas Imenger said: “The purpose of any game is to get the three points so I am satisfied with the results.”
Lobi Stars will travel to Sunshine Stars in their next game while Shooting Stars will host Enyimba