Enyimba set up nine consecutive home wins count with 2-1 victory against Lobi Stars ~ BETA NAIJA BLOG: Breaking News, Latest News, Entertainment, Sport, Politics, Comedy and World News

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Enyimba set up nine consecutive home wins count with 2-1 victory against Lobi Stars

By China Acheru
Enyimba almost lost it but came back in the space of four minutes of their Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) game to win 2-1 against Lobi Stars in a very heated encounter at the UJ Esuene Stadium in Calabar.
Lobi Stars took an early lead, rather fortuitously in the 18th minute through Anthony Okpotu.
Kelly Kester did not put enough weight on his back pass and Okpotu got there before the goalkeeper, Fatau Dauda to slot home for the opener.
Enyimba did not relent and continued to attack their more defensive guests but a combination of exceptional goalkeeping from John Lawrence and profligacy on Enyimba’s part ensured the scoreline remained the same until the end of the first half.
While Enyimba raided Lobi Stars like scavengers in search of prey, Lobi Stars attacked in fits and spurts, trying to grab spoils whenever they thought the Enyimba defence had been caught napping.
In the 10th minute, Ebube Duru’s free kick went straight into Fatau Dauda’s hands.
Two minutes later, it was John Lawrence on the other side spilling a close range shot from Andrew Abalogu but he recovered on time to clear the loose ball to safety.
Enyimba continued to mount pressure and in the 25th minute Chinonso Okonkwo’s header in the box went hopelessly wide.
Lobi Stars continued to soak the pressure as they conceded a free kick just before the 30 minute mark but Ikechukwu Ibenegbu’s ball went wide.
Just before half time, Ibrahim Mustapha failed to score twice as his shot was blocked for a corner in the 38th minute, then Mfon Udoh’s corner kick fell at his feet but John Lawrence punched out his point blank shot.
Again, in added time of the first half, Ikechukwu Ibenegbu had a chance to draw level but his effort was saved by Lawrence.
“The instruction at half time was to try and level up in the first fifteen minutes but we didn’t get it right so it brought more tension to us,” Enyimba gaffer, Gbenga Ogunbote told NPFL.ng after the game.
Both teams started the 2nd half the same way they ended the 1st as Enyimba threw men forward trying to draw level while Lobi Stars just laid back, containing the forays and feeding off scraps.
Three minutes after the restart, Mfon Udoh outpaced his marker on the right but his short cross was cleared to safety.
A quick Lobi Stars counter in the 53rd minute saw goal scorer, Anthony Okpotu try a dipping shot from distance but it went wide.
Two minutes later, Okpotu broke free again but rather than pass to Eduwor who had found space he preferred to chip the goalkeeper from outside the box but Dauda saved the ball on the goal line.
Time was ticking and Enyimba players got more and more desperate.
In the 64th minute, Stanley Dimgba was shown a yellow card for simulation as he sought a penalty from the referee.
With twenty minutes left on the clock, Gbenga Ogunbote took off Kelly Kester for Dare Ojo but they still could not find space through an organized Lobi Stars defence.
A member of the Enyimba supporters’ club ran into the goal area of Lobi Stars to try to snatch away the face towel of John Lawrence but his effort failed, causing a moment of distraction.
Ikouwem Udoh dribbled into the Lobi box but keeper Lawrence stopped his cross from doing damage. Read more
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