Lobi Stars on Thursday morning, November 20 at the main bowl of Dipo Dina International Stadium Ijebu-Ode melted the resistance of Goddosky FC 2-1 to qualify for the quarter-final of the ongoing Dapo Abiodun pre-season cup.
The game that was scheduled to kick off at 9AM was delayed by 30 minutes because the first match of the day scheduled for 7AM started late and ended up encroaching into the kick-off time of the next game.
Goddosky FC eventually got proceedings underway at 9:32 and Lobi Stars took over immediately after two passes by the opponents.
Lobi Stars got interpassing in their area, a back pass from John Lazarus to Martins Owolijah and his one time pass intended to his team mate ended up with an opponent.
The result was a quick blast at goal but the excellent goalkeeping of Mustapha Aliko stopped the rookies (Goddosky) from taking an early lead.
In the 6th minute of the game, Lobi Stars lost their own chance of recording the first goal as greenhorn Eugene Mtom broke away furiously on the left and made a fast cut to measure pass that located Austin Ogunye, but the former MFM man’s quick touch at goal rose too high to hit the crossbar for a narrow miss.
13 minutes of play, young and energetic Monday Akile visionary placed a precise through the pass into space on the far deep right for on the run John Lazarus, who controlled to his direction of movement before striking a hard cross for Austin Ogunye to effortlessly tuck the ball into the net for Lobi Stars first goal.
Goddosky reacted like wounded lions in an attempt to cancel out the goal but their forays were contained by the maturity and experience of Lobi Stars.
The pride of Benue got the second goal when Monday Akile initiated a build up in the middle with Mathias Samuel and John Lazarus who placed a deep pass on the right side of the penalty area for Austin Ogunye who quickly drove close to the goal and his intended cross was pleasantly deflected into the goal by Goddosky’s defender, Daniel Nwakamma.
Upon resumption of the second half, Coach Kabiru Dogo tutored lads who had hoped for more goals but it was their opponents who reduced the tally.
Goddosky put up a good fight and their efforts paid off in the 56th minute when Lobi Stars central defense player headed a weak save just outside the penalty area, Goddosky took advantage of the situation, quickly initiated an attack as Chigozie Awurun released a missile that beat an overstretched Mustapha Aliko for his sides only goal of the match.
Lobi Stars introduced Duke Osimaga, Onuowa Chukwuka, and Edwin Ogaga for Mathias Samuel, Eugene Mtom, and Nurudeen Ibrahim in 49th minutes while strong and intelligent former Nasarawa United defense ace Moses Tsehuan homegrown rookie Solomon Agaigbe took over from Matthias Guh and John Lazarus in 61st minute.
The new additions revitalized Lobi Stars but Goddosky whose only condition to remain in the tournament was to beat the Ortom boys played out their hearts and came close severally.
Christian Ahamefula came in for two goal hero Austin Ogunye at 72nd minute of play.
Thereafter, the center referee gave the two teams a water break of two minutes, and on resumption, Ossy Martins completed the changes for Lobi Stars in the 78th minute
as he took the place of Emeka Isaac to help steady Lobi Stars’ sail till the end of the match.
Lobi Stars will have Crown FC for breakfast at 7 am in the last group match which is a dead rubber, having qualified for quarter finals with six points from two matches.
Though for Lobi Stars, it is only pride that is at stake in their final group match against Crown, the fate of MFM is hanging on the outcome of the match.