Lobi Stars substitute Saidu Mubarak's 83rd minute strike from Austin Ogunye's left side cross humbled the highly pre-match rated defending champions Akwa United in an NPFL Matchday 5 decided at the Aper Aku Stadium Makurdi on Sunday January 9, 2022.

The pride of Benue would have made the opponents look ordinary, no thanks to the early misses and the excellent goalkeeping of Akwa United's Dele Ajiboye that stood between Lobi Stars and an early goal.

The visitors upon surviving the early minutes, as they escaped 3 close goal possibilities, conceding 3 corner kicks including hitting the upright in the first 6 minutes rose up to the occasion to neutralize the goal seeking zeal of Lobi Stars and started pressing forward to take the lead. A 16th minute tricky shot from Seth Mayi of Akwa United almost beat a wrongly placed and unexpectant Lobi Stars Goalkeeper Emeka Onyia, ditto to his his quick recovery.

The game drift in to a situation that became open for both teams as attack upon counter attack ensued. Another opportunity came the way of Lobi Stars as Douglas Achiv's 24 minute precise drop was chest  lowered by Adams Olamilekan  for Man of The Match Ifeanyi Ogba whose thunderous strike was palmed in to safety by a fully stretched Dele Ajiboye.

Ogba was on song again 10 minutes later when he latched on Gabriel Wassa's pass in to the left side open space to make a solo effort, eliminating former Lobi Stars John Lazarus to drive a power packed strike which was stopped by the good reflexes of Dele Ajiboye. 

Experience and outstanding former Super Eagles Solomon Kwambe who distinguished himself in Lobi Stars colours saved a 2nd minute of the 3  minutes of first half added time near goal situation by Akwa United. A restart from corner kick by Akwa United draw the curtains for the first half of the explosive encounter.

Akwa United resumed the second half with a game plan of bargaining for draw but not losing sight of an opportunity to steal a victory resorted to a mix of time wasting tricks and occasional breaks. The unsporting trick earned Dele Ajiboye a yellow card in the 71st minute.

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Ifeanyi Ogba's 57th minute bicycle kick from Gabriel Wassa's long throw was effortlessly picked up by a well positioned Dele Ajiboye. The next minute saw Austin Ogunye and Nasiru Momoh took over from Anayo Ogbonna and Duke Osimaga. Makurdi fans almost gave up the game in the 58th minute when Akwa United's pacy forward  Seth Mayi outran Lobi Stars defense and had only the Goalkeeper to beat. All thanks to Lobi Stars Goalkeeper Emeka Onyia for the wonderful save.

Eddy Dombraye further rejigged his side in the 71st minute as Douglas Achiv and Adams Olamilekan who couldn't reenact his forward dribble runs artistry gave way for Onuwa Chukuwka and Saidu Mubarak and finally Akile Monday took over from injured Wassa Gabriel in the 80th minute.

All the efforts of visiting Akwa United were buried in the 83rd minute  when Austin Ogunye's cross from the left side  was converted by substitute Saidu Mubarak for the only goal of the game.

𝗟𝗼𝗯𝗶 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝗿𝘀 𝗟𝗶𝗻𝗲𝘂𝗽:
Emeka Onyia, Odinaka Francis, Wassa Gabriel (Akile Monday 80"), Moses Tsehuan, Solomon Kwambe, Osimaga Duke (Nasiru Momoh 58"), Ufere Chinedu, Achiv Douglas (Onuwa Chukuwka71"), Adams Olamilekan (Saidu Mubarak 71"), Anayo Ogbonna ( Austin Ogunye 58"), Ifeanyi Ogba.

𝗨𝗻𝘂𝘀𝗲𝗱 𝗦𝘂𝗯𝘀:
Stanley Nwabali, Joshua Akhabue, Onyebuchi Onyeka

𝗨𝗽 𝗡𝗲𝘅𝘁:
𝗡𝗮𝘀𝗮𝗿𝗮𝘄𝗮 𝗨𝗻𝗶𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝘃𝘀 𝗟𝗼𝗯𝗶 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝗿𝘀
𝗗𝗮𝘁𝗲: 𝗦𝘂𝗻𝗱𝗮𝘆 𝗝𝗮𝗻𝘂𝗮𝗿𝘆 𝟭𝟲, 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟮
𝗩𝗲𝗻𝘂𝗲: 𝗟𝗮𝗳𝗶𝗮 𝗖𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝗱𝗶𝘂𝗺
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