Lobi Stars Football Club of Markudi beat visiting Enugu Rangers Football Club of Enugu 1-0 and secured their first victory in the NPFL 2023 season thanks to a Joseph Atule wonderstrike.

Rangers, who were looking for redemption after losing to Abia Warriors FC at home in their first game, pressed Lobi Stars FC well in the opening exchanges, forcing the hosts into giving the ball away on numerous occasions near their own penalty area.

Lobi Stars were a threat at Rangers defense in the opening minutes of the second half with Abba Umar finding his rhythm in the midfield, created two chances that couldn’t be converted.

After 83 minutes, Lobi had the lead, a Rangers counter-attack broke down and Odinaka Francis found Joseph Atule, who drove forward into the final third before unleashing a fantastic strike from 35 meters that beat Rangers FC goalkeeper hollow.

Atule’s blockbuster of a goal was the only moment of real quality in what was an otherwise a lacklustre game.

Rangers came out for the second period with more intensity, looking to play more on the front foot.
Abdu Maikaba recognised the flat nature of first half performance and introduced Chidiebere Nwobodo and Samuel Pam at the 63rd minute to give the hosts some attacking impetus.
The home side got on the ball more as the game went on, throwing bodies further forward in the last 10 minutes but they managed to fashion something of a clear-cut at the closing period of the game.

Lobi secured the win to stop their recent run of poor form and a trip to Abia Warriors awaits them, while Rangers tackle Sunshine Stars in week 3 of the NPFL this season.


38′ -Matthias Samuel runs deep into Enugu’s defense, and the ball drifts at the far right corner.

44′ -Disturbance. Elijah Ani’s kick crashes against Daniel Emmanuel, and Lobi are safe.

45′ -Attempt. Lobi goes on a counter, Atule Joseph takes his shot to the far left, sweet move, but he misses.

53′ -Free Kick. Auwalu Naziru takes a volley, it goes straight to Anime Joseph’s foot, he loses the ball and an attempt by Reuben Bala goes over the bar.

57′ -Unlucky. A good counter attacking move by Enugu Rangers sees Reuben Bala beat Daniel Emmanuel free, they both go down in the box.

69′ -Shot on target for Rangers. Chimezie David takes a far shot, it goes straight to the hands of Lobi’s shot stopper.

77′ -Another sweet counter by Lobi. But Lazarus John misses a one on one with Nana Bonsu.
How unlucky can that be?

83′ -Goaaaallll!
Lobi takes the lead through Atule Joseph’s strike.
Odinaka Francis took a long range pass from Lobi’s back line and straight to Atule, who was in time to to put the host ahead.

Credit: Rhairom Zamora


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