Lobi Stars quick right full back John Lazarus Sunday June 6, 2021 in a match day 25 of the 2020/2021 NPFL celebrate his birthday in grand style as his 28″ thunderous dead ball strike leaves Goalkeeper Olawale Oremade gazing at the flight of the ball to fulfill his birthday promise to score and give victory to his team.
Lobi Stars came in to the game no doubt a side that appear to leave no stone unturned as every move was forward looking, fully prepared to make premium of the game to break the away win jinx that have hunted them in the current season.
John Lazarus who was arguably the man of the match was trotting from defence to attack with the zeal to fulfill his promise. His first two attempts at goal yield no fruit as goalkeeper Oremade and and Francis Odinaka denied him the luxury of putting his side in the lead.
Not until the 28″ when Chinonso Okonkwo was brought down on the fringe of the penalty arc, the free awarded to Lobi Stars was thunderously delivered to the far right with precision leaving a helpless Olawale Oremade to watch the ball in to the net with awe giving his side an early lead.
Dakkada reacted spiritedly but all there efforts were contained by the excellent defensive network of John Bello and Alex Aghahowa, flanked by John Lazarus on the right and Ebube Duru on the left. 51″ of play, a highly motivated Lazarus would have made it 2 as his yet another strike from Sani Mohammed got parried by Goalkeeper Oremade to puncture the effort.
Several free kick efforts of captain Aniekan Ekpe’s shots at goal from dead balls either went off target or were picked up by Nwabali Stanley till the end of first stanza as Lobi went in to the interval with a 1 goal lead.
10″ in the second half, Coach Kabiru Dogo activated his tactical plan to defend the goal if there was not going to be second goal as he introduced central defender Tsehuan Moses in place of central mid-field player Douglas Achiv to fortify the defence line. The substitution effectively paid off as Tsehuan was seen to wade off all the efforts of the home boys.
Youthful home boys Adakole Elijah and Solomon Agaigbe came in to replace Sani Mohammed and mecurial Onuwa Chukwuka, two players that gave a good account of themselves in the game in the 66″ and Chigozie Chilekwu replaced a stretchered out Ebube Duru while Ozor Chinedu took over from Chinonso Okonkwo in the 80″.
Dakkada mounted last minutes pressure on Lobi Stars but there was no threat enough to create panic. Lobi Stars held on to the goal and regularly launch reversals, coming close for a second goal but the story remained unchanged till the referee call for end of the game at 90+10 as Lobi Stars finally edge Dakkada 0-1 in front of their home fans.
Lobi Stars will be heading back to Makurdi to wait for Rangers International in a mid-week match day 26 of the NPFL 2020/2021.