Lobi Stars of Makurdi

Lobi Stars started like a house on fire and could have gone four goals up in the first half as the Go Round FC players just could not find their feet.

Starting with four debutantes- George Ameh, Kamaru Ogunjobi, Olafimihan Atinushola and Pius Dennis as well as and one playing for this first time this season, Obinna Ukwu, it seemed, by their first half performance that the occasion was too big for the Go Round FC players.

Kamaru Ogunjobi, Atinushola and Dennis seemed jittery on the ball while George Ameh flapped at crosses but Lobi Stars just could not score. As early as the 2nd minute, a free header from Samad Kadiri whistled past the Go Round FC post as the keeper, George Ameh stayed rooted to the ground.

In the 9th minute Ebube Duru crossed into the Go Round FC penalty box but Ameh flapped at the cross that went out for a throw in.

The home side continued to pile on the pressure and in the 14th minute Obinna Ukwu headed back to his goalkeeper who had to make a quick dash forward to intercept what could have been a bad situation as the ball was almost connected by Samad Kadiri.

The first real chance for Go Round FC was in the 23rd minute when Okon Otop went past a defender and shot from distance rattling Olufemi Kayode who needed two attempts to stop the ball from going in.

Lobi’s luck finally shone in the 31stminute when Samad Kadiri headed home from close range to put his side 1-0 up, a goal that eventually won the game for his side. Six minutes before half time, Okon Otop found space and shot at goal but it went hopelessly wide.

A well taken free kick by Chinonso Udeh in the 40th minute found the head of Okon, but his effort went a little off the mark.

Ubale could have made it 2-0 for Lobi when a defence splitting pass from Samad set him loose in the Go Round FC goal area. He chipped the goalkeeper but the ball went wide.

At the start of the 2nd half, Go Round FC replaced Pius Dennis with Uchenna Ezeala and then Olafimihan Atinushola with Chidi Nwachukwu, two changes that turned the game around for Go Round FC.

In what could be termed “a game of two halves” the second period completely belonged to Go Round but poor marksmanship was their bane.

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Go Round FC Players

With pressure mounting on the home side, Solomon Ogbeide took off Manir Ubale for Thompson Adeshina in the 60th minute.

A minute later, Adeseun Adelani thought he had equalised but his effort was cleared off the line. Lobi Stars took off Tolulope Ojo for Esosa Igbinoba as they continued to ward off pressure from Go Round.

With the minutes ticking and Go Round taking the game to their hosts, Adeseun Adelani was on song again, this time in the 73rd when was toe-poked the ball in the penalty area but it took the out stretched hands of the goalkeeper, Olufemi to parry the ball to a corner as Lobi continued to hang on.

Stanley Worlu was thrown in to replace Okon Otop in the 73rd minute and four minutes later he was part of a four man move that could have resulted in the equaliser.

On the left side of the pitch, Morris Chukwu’s long range ball found Adeseun Adelani on the right. He controlled well and passed to Stanley Worlu who walked into the box releasing Chidi Nwachukwu but the final ball went way off target. Uchenna Ezeala’s free kick in the 82nd minute went past the wall but was stopped by Olufemi in goal.

Five minutes before full time, Stanley Worlu’s defence splitting pass freed Nwachukwu who outpaced Solomon Kwambe but couldn’t put the ball past Olufemi.

In a last ditch effort to increase the tally, Lobi had a chance in the 90thminute but George Ameh saved to keep the scoreline decent. Coach of Go Round FC, Ngozi Elechi was proud of the display put up by his players and was disappointed they failed to win or draw the game.

“Overall I think my boys deserved to get something from this match. I commend them for the second half, after two changes I made they began to play the way the team is used to playing.

“Overall I thought they were good. The second half was about the changes I made,” Elechi said. “Lobi Stars coach, Solomon Ogbeide admitted his side did not play well but was happy with the win.

“Against Enyimba we played quality game but did not win. We played badly today but we won. All we are interested in is the three points.

“No two games are alike. There was something we did right. You win games by using techniques and tactics to score goals and defend it,” Ogbeide said.

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