By Adams Jesse Odoba-Yacham

The Lafia City Stadium was alive as top-flight football returned to the city but this time it was not the traditional home team, Nasarawa United that was to play but neighbours Lobi Stars who defeated Sunshine Stars 3-2 on Sunday.

The Matchday 2 fixture of the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) saw both teams entertain the fans who trooped in their numbers to support the ‘Yes Father Boys’.

The first half saw both sides match each other but the turn of the second half saw a twist as Samuel Tiza opened the scoring in the 53rd minute when he benefited from a Mustapha Lawal’s howler from Rabiu Mohammed’s cross to stab home the opening.

Sixteen minutes later the attacker was at the end of Rabiu Mohammed’s cross to nod home his second to send the Lobi Stars’ fans into jubilation.

Tiza would have completed his hat-trick in 73rd minute when Ahmadu Liman found him at the edge with a clever chance. The attacker chose to go for power over accuracy.

Sunshine Stars however burst into life when enterprising left-back Taiwo Rafiu powered a low drive into the bottom corner from 30 yards as the Akure club began to press but it was Ajibola Adeleke who made the game safe for the home side after nodding in Kumaga Suur’s well delivered corner to the delight if their supporters.

Sunshine Stars pressed and were duly rewarded in the dying moments of the game when Opeoluwa Oluwafemi’s low cross was diverted home by Michael Olalusi as the referee ended the keenly contested game.

After the game Sunshine Stars head coach Edith Agoye hailed the performance of his boys but somehow blamed his boys lacklustre attitude which ultimately handed Lobi Stars the maximum points.

“It (the result) was so difficult to accept as it is not a game we should lose because it was a game that was highly tactical in the first half. Both teams were very organized on the field of play positionally. They never gave room for any mistake but the second half was full of mistakes.

“Most of the goals we conceded was due to loss of focus. Yes, it is football, it happens that way. We accept it as we lost it today although we feel that it was a game we could have picked at least a point but then this is football and once you lose it, you look up to the next one,” Agoye said.

Eugene Ajagbe who handled Lobi Stars believes his team did better despite conceding two goals at home.

“I came in with a different strategy in the second half because I was able to read my opponent and knew their errors so I capitalized on it and got my three goals and three points,” Ajagbe said.

“It was just unfortunate that my defenders were caught napping which made us concede two good goals but not withstanding we got the full points and I give kudos to the players.”

Ajagbe had previously played for Gombe United, Enugu Rangers and Lobi Stars before he ventured into coaching.

Tiza who was voted man of the match disclosed that he would love to continue to score as it will help propel his team to greater achievements in the league. He prayed that his fans will continue to see more of him in the league.

Next for Lobi Stars is a game at Katsina United while Sunshine Stars will host Heartland FC in Akure on Matchday 3.

David NPFL
October 8, 2023
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