Sunday 28th February 2021 at the Aper Aku stadium Makurdi venue of The NPFL Match Day 13 was crucial to Lobi Stars as they file out against Katsina United to keep a promise of a must-win to their fans.
Lobi Stars have not been impressive recently, the situation climaxed after the away loss to rock bottom Adamawa United last Thursday, preceding Sunday’s game. The Chairman came out to send a word of reassurance to Lobi Stars fans which prompted the need to step up for redemption.
True to the resolve, The homeboys took over proceedings shortly after the Changi Boys kicked off making furious incursions towards the visitor’s goal but their defence kept resisting, couple with strings of misses. Lobi Stars kept close in the better part of the first half.
The 2 goal credit to Lobi Stars came in time situations of extremities, the first goal was in the 1st minute of the 2 minutes added time of the first half and the second in the 4th minute of the 5 minutes added time of the second half.
Chinonso Okonkwo, Zenke Tersoo, Carlos Geleya tormented Katsina United’s goal area while home boy John Atule and Usman Bara’u pushed hard for Katsina United.
Katsina United Abdulmutallab Sanusi was handed a yellow card in the 26th minute for unsporting behavior as he deployed unnecessary delay tactics.
The 45+1 minute goal came when a left build-up for Lobi Stars located Carlos Geleya, whose cross was lowered with the chest by Ossy Martins for Chinonso Okonkwo who thundered home the first goal beyond the reach of Goalkeeper Dawda Kasally.
A 46th-minute corner kick upon resumption of the second stanza was taken by Chinonso Okonkwo and sailed straight to Alex Aghahowa who couldn’t organize himself swiftly enough to do the finishing.
Coach Kabiru Dogo introduced Austin Ogunye in place of Ossy Martins in 56th while his Katsina United counterpart Baldwin Bazuaye followed suit as he threw in Rasheed Ahmed and Samuel Kalu for Ubale Mannir and Boubakar Massly in the 61st minute.
62nd-minute quick attack reversal from Lobi Stars defence got to Carlos Geleya whose long delivery found new entrant Austin Ogunye, Ogunye’s accurate cross to Douglas Achiv was not converted as a result of suspect finishing zeal.
Katsina United further re-enforced the team by introducing Abubakar Abdullahi for Abdulmutallab Sanusi in the 74th minute as Lobi Stars brought in Abdulwasiu Mahmud and Mathias Samuel for Douglas Achiv 3 minutes later.
The effort of John Atule paid off as his 78th-minute dribble run and strength application overpowered the right side of Lobi Stars defence with an end cross only for substitute Samuel Kalu to effortlessly hit home the equalizer for Katsina United, bringing the scoreline to 1-1.
The equalizer seems to have reduced Lobi Stars chances of winning the game. Segun Alebiosu completes Lobi Stars substitution chances in the 90th as all hopes seem lost. Respite came to The pride of Benue when Katsina United backbone John Atule was stretchered out and have to be replaced by Rasheed Ahmed.
Substitute Mathias Samuel put a smile on the faces of Lobi Stars when he received a pass from halfback Mutiu Ogundimi and fired home a 35-metre blinder that beat Goalkeeper Dawda Kasally in the 4th minute of the added time for goal number 2. The match came to an end shortly after the restart.
By this victory, Lobi Stars have sprung up 3 places on the log from 10th to 7th position.