Lobi Stars, Remo Stars qualify for Naija Super 8 finals
Lobi Stars of Makurdi and Remo Stars on Friday at the Eket Township Stadium, Akwa Ibom booked their places in the Naija Super 8 fnals slated for the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Lagos from July 7 to 16.
To qualify for the Lagos Showdown, Lobi Stars defeated hard fighting City FC, Abuja, 4-3 via penalty shootouts after the game ended two goals apiece at full time, while Remo Stars got the better of Shooting Stars 3-0.
Before the kickoff of the North Central clash, the Nigeria Premier League, NPL campaigner were heavily favoured to get past City FC, who play in the Nigeria National League, NNL, and the Makurdi side did not disappoint, but it was far from being a walk in the park as the two club were separated by penalty shootouts.
Lobi Stars started the game like a house on fire and their efforts were rewarded in the 30th minute through David Okoroni after a miscommunication between a City defender and his goalkeeper, and could have increased the tally but for poor finishing.
On resumption for the second half the boys from Abuja seems to have woken from their slumber as they piled pressure on Lobi and their efforts paid off in the 52nd minute with Ibrahim Mafus well taken drive.
Another goal from Arinze Ogbona gave City an unlikely lead, and when fans inside the stadium were already thinking they have witnessed the first upset of the Naija Super 8, Lobi brought their experience to bare and consequently equalised in the 86th minute, to force the game to penalties.
In the penalty shootout, Lobi Stars won 4-3 to book their ticket the finals in Lagos.
City FC Coach, Ibe Johnson, said his boys lost to Lobi Stars’ experience. “I appreciate the boys for the effort. We are happy to be here. Big kudos to the organisers for this tournament, and congratulations to Lobi Stars. I give it to Lobi Stars for their experience. We lost to their experience today,” he said.
In the second match, Remo Stars proved they are indeed Shooting Stars’ boogee team after two quick goals from Andy Okpe and Nwueze Boniface and a 74th minute tap-in by Seun Ogunribigbe were enough to end 3SC’s dream of booking a place in the main Playoffs.
The Gbenga Odubote tutored side had stormed Eket with the aim of ending Remo Stars’ dominance but it was not to be as CAF Champions League ticket holder just confirmed that their victories (home and away) over the Oluyole Warriors in the Nigeria Premier League were no fluke.
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