Lobi Stars shoot blank in an NPFL 2019/2020 Match Day 21 against plateau United yesterday inside the main bowl of the Aper Aku Stadium Makurdi.
The game was as explosive as expected and had passed the test of a star match of the week, despite the injury situation in the Lobi Stars camp, the players put up a spirited performance, the end result of the game was not as a result of lack lustre performance but the quality of opposition and failure of the officiating crew to provide a level playing ground to arrive at a more realistic outcome of the game.
The close knitted game could not produced much scoring possibilities as both teams were very protective of the goal and Lobi Stars that showed more commitment to score shot blank throughout the 90 minutes duration of the game.
Game kicked off 4:04 with explosion off the foot of Lobi Stars Chinonso Okonkwo. In the 4th minute, Nzube Anaezemba put on Chinonso Okonkwo on the right flank, his one time cross was blocked back to him, a quick pass behind found stand in Right Full Back Chogozie Obasi whose quick drop in the middle of Plateau United goal area caused a mix up that almost resulted to an own goal against the Highlanders but the brilliant save of Goalkeeper Anozie Chinedu was all it takes to keep the score line at 0-0.
Another opportunity came to Lobi Stars in the 8th minute but Samad Kadiri couldn’t muster enough courage to take responsibility and was in a hurry to locate Chinonso Okonkwo who was not available to do the finishing.
23 minutes extent of play, a throw in for Lobi Stars by Chigozie Obasi found Nzube Anaezemba but his finishing shot was not strong enough to beat plateau United goal keeper.
In the 33rd minute, the pride of Benue got a free kick on the left edge of the penalty area, the thunderous shot by Chigozie Obasi was punched out by the extra effort of Plateau United’s goalkeeper, Lobi Stars Samad Kadiri followed but his arrival was slightly late.
A 37th minute brilliant dribble by Chinonso Okonkwo but his effort at goal ended up in the waiting hands of Goalkeeper Anozie Chinedu of Plateau United.
No significant opportunity came in the way if any of the two teams till Centre Referee Grema Mohammed from Borno State sounded his whistle for Half Time at 45+1leaving score line at 0-0.
3 minutes in to the 2nd half Chinedu Udeagha took over from Osadiaye Joseph as Chinonso was set up by Mathias Samuel who guided the ball back to Nzube, an accurate pass to Mathias was dangerously towed at goal but narrowly missed target.
Chinonso Okonkwo gave way for Utibe Arit Achibong in the 62nd minute for the second substitute for Lobi Stars, as 15 shirted Buhari Ibrahim of Plateau United was booked for bringing down Samad Kadiri.
In the last 10 minutes of the game, Plateau United came close to getting a goal from 2 successive moments but were saved by the excellent goal keeping of Goalkeeper Faith James of Lobi Stars.
An 86th minute long cross by Ebube Duru was headed off target by Chinedu Udeagha. An 87th minute and last substitute saw Austin Ogunye took over from Mathias Samuel. Ogunye’s arrival reinvigorated the team, he took on 2 defenders and dribbled them with one stroke but his not too strong shot hit the defensive leg of Plateau United player.
90+2 Centre Referee Grema Mohammed from Borno State sounded the final whistle to end the game. Score line remains Lobi Stars 0-0 Plateau United.
The failure of Lobi Stars to clinch the 3 points at stake dropped them further down by 1 place from second down to 3rd on the league table behind Plateau United and Rivers United.
Lobi Stars will be travelling to far away Ilorin to confront Kwara United in a Match Day 22 fixture in a recovery seeking expedition.
Other NPFL Match Day 21 results are as follows:
*Dakkada 0-0 Kwara Utd*
*Rivers Utd 2-1 Kano Pillars*
Konan Ruffin N’Gouan 22’ (PEN), Cletus Emotan 88’ – Rabiu Ali 90+3’
*Jigawa GS 2-1 Wikki*
Ibrahim Saleh 54’, Abdullahi Lala 67’ – Promise Damala 2’
*MFM 0-0 Heartland*
*Nasarawa Utd 2-0 Enyimba*
Chinedu Ohanachom 33’, Dauda Maigishiri 87′
*Akwa Utd 1-1 Wolves*
Ndifreke Effiong 90’ – Wisdom Jumbo 76’ (PEN)
*Sunshine Stars 0-0 Rangers*
*Katsina Utd 1-0 Abia Warriors*
Joseph Atule 6’
*Adamawa Utd 2-1 FCIU*
Jibrin Abubakar 22’, Idris Abubakar 69’ – Ikenna Cooper 67’