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π—Ÿπ—’π—•π—œ 𝗦𝗧𝗔π—₯𝗦 π—£π—œπ—£ π—˜π—‘π—¬π—œπ— π—•π—” 𝗧𝗒 π—žπ—˜π—˜π—£ π—§π—œπ—§π—Ÿπ—˜ π—›π—’π—£π—˜π—¦ π—”π—Ÿπ—œπ—©π—˜

π—Ÿπ—’π—•π—œ 𝗦𝗧𝗔π—₯𝗦 π—£π—œπ—£ π—˜π—‘π—¬π—œπ— π—•π—” 𝗧𝗒 π—žπ—˜π—˜π—£ π—§π—œπ—§π—Ÿπ—˜ π—›π—’π—£π—˜π—¦ π—”π—Ÿπ—œπ—©π—˜

A second-half header by Alao Danbani helped Lobi Stars earn the maximum points over reigning champions, Enyimba International in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) week 29 match played on Sunday, April 7, at the Lafia City Stadium to go joint top of the summit with Rangers International of Enugu.

Lobi Stars went into the encounter with the same starting eleven against Sporting Lagos in matchday 28 hoping to break the deadlock before halftime but were frustrated by Super Eagles fringe goalkeeper, Olorunleke Ojo, who stood firm in between the sticks to ensure the first half of the high profile match ended in a barren draw.

However, on resumption, Coach Eugene Agagbe made some tactical changes as he replaced Stanley Oganbor and Christian Izuchukwu with Samuel Tiza and Ahmadu Liman and instantly the changes brought the desired effect as it didn’t take too long before the deadlock was broken.

Former Kwara United man, Danbani who was all over the big elephants from Aba headed home the much awaited goal in the 58th minute to separate the two title contenders.

The former African champions almost restored parity immediately after the restart but Lobi Stars goalkeeper Daniel Emmanuel made a spectacular save to deny Chijioke Mbaoma’s header to keep the scoreline 1-0 as the titanic battle gradually wound down.

In the dying minutes of the match, Oganbor almost doubled Lobi Stars’ lead when he struck from the near post but goalkeeper Ojo again made a wonderful save for a more decent scoreline as the ‘Pride of Benue’ secured the maximum points.

In a post match interview, Coach Agagbe again thanked his players for playing to instructions which gave Lobi Stars the crucial victory against the two-time CAF Champions League winners.

“I thank my players for the fighting spirit they exhibited through out the match. You know as a coach you have a strategy to win matches, so first half I took my time to study my opponents because it is about three months since I played them in Aba.

“So, in the second half, I brought on two players and I changed my tactics as well and by the grace of God, we won the three points in the end.

“I am happy that I have great players who are ready to push for the title. They played well with the character we are known for and we shall visit 3SC who are our next opponents with a renewed vigour,” he assured.

With the result, Lobi Stars who are on 51 points now share the top of the table with Enugu Rangers who lost 4-3 at Katsina United earlier on Sunday.

Up next, Lobi Stars will take a long trip to the South-west to battle one of the oldest clubs in Nigeria, 3SC, formerly called IICC Shooting Stars of Ibadan in Matchday 30.

π‘³π’π’ƒπ’Š 𝑺𝒕𝒂𝒓𝒔 π‘΄π’†π’…π’Šπ’‚.

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