Dapo Abiodun preseason Cup 2020
Lobi Stars labour to 1-0 win over Remo Stars
Lobi Stars yesterday November 22, 2020 at the Dipo Dina International Stadium laboured to a 1-0 victory over Remo Stars in one of the quarter final games of the ongoing the Dapo Abiodun Pre-season Cup to qualify for semi finals.
Parading a tireless, youthful and cohesive team and playing before their home fans as Ijebu-Ode and indeed the Dipo Dina stadium play host to their league games, Remo Stars indeed proved to be hard nuts to crack.
The official kick off time was delayed by 6 minutes as the centre referee whistled for the commencement of proceedings by 4:06 when Remo Stars took the kick off.
Coach Kabiru Dogo and his wards approached the game with utmost caution, but in the 10th minute, they stepped on the pedal when Douglas Achiv intercepted an attack initiated by Remo Stars mid-way and quickly placed the ball on the right for quick and prolific international right full back John Lazarus who controlled the ball to his direction of movement closed up to the goal line to put his attacking team mates on side before unleashing his brand quick low cross.
The power behind the ball forced out of the shaky hands of goalkeeper Kayode Bankole into the path of a forward running wonder boy Abdulkareem Mumini, but his strike narrowly and surprisingly missed the target.
There was almost instant response from Remo Stars as in the 28 minutes of play Lobi Stars escaped what would have put their opponents ahead as their quick attack caught the defense of Lobi stars napping.
Remo Stars made their best out of the opportunity but luck ran out of them as the finishing shot at goal beat goalkeeper Aliko Mustapha to hit the cross bar into play and was cleared out by former Nasarawa United central defender, Moses Tsehuan who was unarguably the player of the match.
After hot exchanges, the pride of Benue took the lead in the 32nd minute when Abdulkareem Mumini dropped from his forward position to participate in defence where he made success of his defensive effort and placed a forward pass down the left deep for a well positioned Monday Akile whose cross beat Remo Stars Kayode Bankole for Ogunye Austin to effortlessly head home his third goal of the tournament and the only goal of the game.
Six minutes later same Ogunye Austin would have made it two for his side to set up a comfortable lead for Lobi Stars but he missed a begging chance in front of a yawning net and completely displaced goal keeper on ground, he missed the target to the consternation of Lobi Stars technical bench.
The ‘Bet Naija’ boys tireless vehemence in looking for an equalizer took a toll on the defence line of Lobi Stars that almost caved in towards the end of the first half but Moses Tsehuan stood firm like the rock of Gibraltar just as goalkeeper Aliko Mustapha was at his best till the referee called for end of the first half.
Segun Alebosun who kicked off the second half for Lobi Stars gave way for Ossy Martins 4 minutes after the resumption of proceedings for the first substitution in the energy sapping encounter.
52 minutes, Lobi Stars launched a fierce attack with quick inter passes in the middle moving forward but wonder boy Abdulkareem Mumini couldn’t execute his goal scoring technique properly as his shot at goal lacked the strength to beat composed Remo Stars goalkeeper Bankole.
Lobi Stars safe hands Aliko Mustapha saved with a punch what would have been an equalizer from a second shot via a free kick for Remo Stars at the right edge of the penalty area in the 60th minute.
Skillful pint sized Onuowa chukwuka took the place of lack lustre Douglas Achiv for the second change.
Although the more experienced Lobi Stars refused to implode, the youthful Remo Stars also refused to get frustrated as they pushed vehemently for equaliser.
However, the former Niger Tornadoes longest serving captain and keeper, Aliko Mustapha stood between them and their ambition till the referee call for end of proceedings at 90+5 minutes.
In one of the quarter-final matches, Kwara United had eliminated Crown FC.
Therefore, by this hard won victory, Lobi Stars will face Kwara United in the second semi final later today, November 23 at the main bowl of Dipo Dina stadium in Ijebu-Ode at 4pm.
The first semifinal between Rivers United and 3SC slated for 7AM this morning will no longer hold as Rivers United have communicated withdrawal to attend to their CAF Confederation cup travel arrangement.
Consequently, 3SC moves to the final without a semi final kick.