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Lobi Stars Encounter: Football enthusiasts caution Rangers against mistakes

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Rangers

Enugu, April 16, 2019 Football enthusiasts in Enugu on Tuesday warned Rangers FC on committing unnecessary mistakes against visiting Lobi Stars of Makurdi in the abridged Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) on Wednesday.

The match against Lobi Stars FC on April 17 is one of their outstanding matches in the ongoing NPFL season.

Some of the enthusiasts, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria in Enugu on Tuesday, said they see Lobi Starts as a big club that could spring surprises on a good day.

Ignatius Okpara, the secretary, Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Enugu chapter, said that he was not entertaining fear about Rangers not being able to defeat Lobi Stars.

“Rangers is in form and can defeat any club at the moment, their recent away victories should give them an edge over Lobi Stars.

“Although Lobi is a good club and they too have what it takes to get a good result in Enugu, I remember what they did in Asaba during the Super Cup.

“What Rangers need to do is to avoid mistakes at the back and the strikers need to be clinical in front of the goal because chances will surely come,” he said.

Chika Mbah, a core supporter of the club said that Lobi Stars was a very good team that could wreck any team on a good day.

“We need not to commit errors in that match and the Lobi Stars I saw and watched their game at Asaba during the Super Cup are too good to look down on.

“Last season, Lobi Stars did a terrible thing to us that left my heart broken but come Wednesday, it will be a different ball game.

“Lobi Stars will confront a rejuvenated Rangers, I only ask them for one thing.

“Our defenders should watch it and avoid silly mistakes and they should remain alert for the 90 minutes and never lose concentration,” he said.

Mbah called on the strikers to stand up and be counted in the match by doing the needful and with such the rest would be history.

Star Plus coach, Anistar Izuikem, said that Rangers would not lose the match going by their recent performance in the league.

“Lobi defeated Rangers at last season’s Super Cup competition but the continental competition and constant league matches has sharpened the players.

“No doubt, Lobi is a good club and it is going to be explosive but at the end, the Flying Antelopes will overcome.

“As a coach, Rangers has a lot working for them, their supporters, familiarity with their pitch, and their recent understanding of each other,” he said.

Similarly, Enugu State boxing coach, Blaise Ude, said that he expected Rangers to win the match with hard work.

“Rangers is our club and we always want them to win and I give it to them because they are doing well at the moment,” Ude said.

He called on the players to approach the match with the determination to win.

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Gov. Ortom donates 36-seater bus, N10m to Lobi Stars FC

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Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue on Saturday donated a 36-seater Toyota bus and N10 million to Lobi Stars Football Club of Makurdi.

 

Presenting the gifts to the club at the Aper Aku Sadium, Makurdi, Ortom charged the players to lift the 2019/2020 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) title.

 

Nigeria News Agency reports that Lobi Stars FC players while returning from Ilorin, Kwara had a fire incident around Adaka, in Gwer West Local Government Area of the state.

 

The club’s bus got burnt to ashes while the players escaped with minor injuries.

 

Ortom pledged to continue supporting the club in spite of the hash economic situations in the state.

 

He further promised to reward the team handsomely should they win the current league title.

 

The governor also commended the management team for their excellent job done so far adding that he was proud of the club.

 

He said he was happy that the club had provided a platform where some players passed through to play at the international level.

 

Earlier, the Vice Chairman, Lobi Stars Football Club, Mr Mike Idoko, commended the governor for his contributions and support to the club and pledged to deliver on their mandate.

Edited By: Joseph Edeh/Donald Ugwu
(NAN)

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NPFL: Wikki Tourists humiliate Lobi Stars 4-0

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 Wikki Tourists Football Club of Bauchi  on Sunday humiliated visiting Lobi Stars Football Club of Makurdi 4-0 at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium in a Nigeria Professional Football  League (NPFL).

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the Match Day 20 fixture was characterised by rough play, with many players getting booked.

Manu Garba opened scores two minutes into the game, and they increased the tally through Idris Guda in the 24th minute of play after missing several scoring chances.

In the 56th minute of play, Garba scored the match’s third goal while Guda scored the fourth goal in the 72nd minute after converting a free-kick by  Ajala Olushola.

Lobi Stars had started strongly but lost many scoring chances and their steam as the game progressed.

In a post-match interview, the Technical Adviser of Wikki Tourists, Usman Abdallah, commended the efforts of his players for winning the match.

“The match is a morale-booster for the team, though there is still a lot needed of them.

“We still have some deficit to make up as we started badly, and the team has to make up to forge further.

“You could see the fighting spirit is there and we will try to sustain it during our future home and away matches.

“We have discovered our mistakes and our best players who will salvage the team,” he pointed out.

Gbenga Ogunbote, the Chief Coach of the visiting Lobi Stars, on his part described the match as “unfortunate”.

“It was an unfortunate one. Sometimes you have careless moments in the game and you pay dearly for them, and I believe the first and second goals unsettled my players.

“We will just return home to take the positive aspects from the game and, as it is a temporary setback, we will get back.

“We will see it as a challenge, get the positives from the match and get it right,” Ogunbote said.

He described  the match’s officiating as “excellent”.

(
Edited By: Philip Dzeremo and Olawale Alabi)

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NPFL: Rangers target good result against Lobi Stars FC in Markudi

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Salisu Yusuf, the Rangers International Football Club of Enugu Technical Adviser, said that the club has perfected plans to get a decent result against Lobi Stars FC of Markudi.

Lobi Stars FC will be hosting Rangers FC in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) rescheduled match day six on Wednesday in Markudi.

Yusuf told the Nigeria News Agency in Enugu on Tuesday that the club had prepared very well for the battle in Markudi.

“We have prepared well, induced the player with what they need to know and what is expected of them in the match.

”Though, this match is like a derby because Lobi Stars FC coach worked with Rangers FC few months ago.

”I think with the preparation we have had, we are going there to get a positive result as we are now channeling all our efforts to the league,” he said.

He said that it was never the club`s intention to exit the ongoing confederation cup at the group stage.

”It has happened and now we are determined to repay our numerous fans and the Enugu State Government with a continental slot come next season,” he said.

He said that it would be a big task for the club considering its current position on the log.

”Yes, we are on 18th position in the league log with six outstanding matches.

”By the time we finish executing all these matches, we will be rubbing shoulder with the teams already in the continental position of the league.

”We have lots of talented players to prosecute the matches and the upcoming federation cup,” the coach said.

Yusuf noted that the club recently added four good players to the team so that it can rotate the players.

The new players are: Isreal Abia formally of Sunshine Stars FC, Ifeanyi Nweke from Kano Pillars FC, Ifebu Ojukwu from Fakkada FC and Franklin Ebuka from Wikki Tourist FC.

He expressed satisfaction with the reduction in the club injury woes, saying that the club injured players are responding well to treatment.

”The injury we have in the club at the moment is not like the ones at the beginning of the league,” he said.

NAN reports that Rangers now occupy the 18th position on the league log with 15 points after 12 matches from the 18 weeks old league.

Edited By: Joseph Edeh/Maureen Atuonwu

 

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NPFL Match Day 17: Plateau United, Rivers United, Lobi Stars in battle for top spot

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There is no doubting the fact that the 2019/2020 season of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season is gradually becoming something to behold.

Not the least among reasons for this is the fact that it is the first 380 matches series the league would witness in three years.

Shocking results, eye-catching football artistry and unexpected formulations are some of the metrics that have left fans and stakeholders in the league with surreal palpitations every match day.

This is in view of the fact that no one knows where the day’s shocking results would emerge from.

The fact that no team has a 100 percent home record after eight home games apiece is enough to throw up some interesting permutations ahead of any match day, Match Day 17 inclusive.

As it is, three teams are now fighting neck-to-neck at the top of the table as we approach the half way mark of this marathon-like event.

Plateau United went back to the summit in style on Sunday after mercilessly smashing Adamawa United 5-0 in Jos.

But Abdu Maikaba’s men know quite alright that only a win away to MFM FC in Lagos can guarantee their stay on top of the table for the next week.

This is because their leadership rivals have home matches to execute.

Lobi Stars stayed on top for just four days after Dakkada FC held Gbenga Ogunbote’s side to a 0-0 draw in Makurdi last Sunday, their first points dropped at home this season.

They, however have another home game to negotiate on Sunday, this time against hapless North Central opponents Nasarawa United who remain entangled in relegation mess.

Rivers United are the other team sharing top spot with 28 points alongside Plateau United (and Lobi Stars) and they have a date with Wikki Tourists in Port Harcourt on Sunday.

Wikki Tourists have claimed four points out of a possible six under new coach Usman Abd’Allah.

They will now be hoping to add more against a Rivers United side they have beaten in their last three league meetings.

Rivers United are however yet to lose at home this term.

There is a top half of the table contest between Akwa United and Heartland at the Nest of Champions in Uyo.

Both sides have overcome their poor starts to the season and just one point separates them in 7th and 9th respectively.

The hosts have lost their last two matches by 0-2 score line and must be at their best to have a chance against Heartland who have kept clean sheets in their last three matches.

Kano Pillars are in an unbelievable 11-match unbeaten sequence and they will further stake that in Akure against Sunshine Stars.

The Owena Whales on their own are no small fish as well and currently are unbeaten in their last four matches, winning three of those.

Kabiru Dogo’s men should provide the sternest threat yet to the former champions’ unbeaten run on Sunday.

Adamawa United are one of just seven clubs to have changed coaches this term but they are still praying for a change in fortunes.

They face Kwara United at the Pantami Stadium in Gombe in search of their first win in eight outings.

Any result other than a win might surely put paid to their survival hopes, even before the halfway mark.

Katsina United will host FC IfeanyiUbah, seeking to earn that win that should take them into the top half of the table.

FC IfeanyiUbah will also be hoping to arrest their away hoodoo which has seen them lose their last seven away games in the league.

Another game on Sunday will see Abia Warriors entertain Warri Wolves in Umuahia, with Wolves midfielder Mark Daniel returning to the club which gave him his NPFL bow last season.

But all eyes will be on Wolves forward Charles Atshimene and Warriors lanky star Lukman Bello.

Match Day 17 action starts with a Saturday afternoon game in Uyo between Dakkada FC and Jigawa Golden Stars at the Nest of Champions.

Dakkada were humiliated by Kwara United in their last home game.

But they can take solace from achieving what no other side in the league have done last Sunday —- stopping Lobi Stars from winning in Makurdi.

MATCH DAY 17 FIXTURES

Saturday

Dakkada FC vs Jigawa Golden Stars

Sunday

Abia Warriors vs Warri Wolves

Enyimba vs Rangers (Postponed)

Katsina United vs FC IfeanyiUbah

Akwa United vs Heartland

Sunshine Stars vs Kano Pillars

Adamawa United vs Kwara United

MFM FC vs Plateau United

Rivers United vs Wikki Tourists

Lobi Stars vs Nasarawa United.

(
Edited By: Remi Koleoso and Olawale Alabi)

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NPFL: Lobi stun Pillars 1-0 in Kano

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NPFL: Lobi stun Pillars 1-0 in Kano

League

Kano, Nov. 17,2019 Visiting Lobi Stars Football Club of Makurdi on Sunday defeated Kano Pillars FC 1-0 in a Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) match played in Kano.

The match was played under closed doors at the Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano.

The encounter was one of the three matches to be played under closed doors to serve as punishment for the home team for fans’ pitch invasion during their Super Six encounter against Enugu Rangers FC in Lagos.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Lobi stars scored at the 63rd minute through Douglas Achiv following a defensive error by Pillars backline.

Reacting, Pillars coach, Ibrahim Musa, said the loss was partially due to absence of home fans who usually play major role in motivating the team to victory.

“The Absence of our teeming supporters is affecting our team particularly during home games because we drew with Rivers United at home, but that’s not an excuse for dropping points,” he said at a post match conference.

The coach said the second half goal conceded by his team gave more confidence to the visitors.

He, however, said that his team would beat newly promoted Jigawa Golden Stars on Wednesday in Kano to restore confidence in their fans.

Lobi Chief Coach, Gbenga Ogunbote, said his team played and took advantage of the pressure on the home team to win.

“We know that Pillars are good and an experienced team and they want to win. They drew their first home game against Rivers.

So, we needed to play on their psychology,” he said.(NAN )

Edited by Joseph Edeh/Ali Baba-Inuwa

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NPFL 2019/2020: Lobi Stars set continental slot target ahead of new season

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Mike Idoko, the Vice-Chairman, Lobi Stars Football Club of Makurdi on Friday said the target of the club ahead of the 2019/2020 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season was to secure a continental slot.

Nigeria News Agency reports that Lobi Stars will begin their league campaign on Nov. 3 against Plateau United at the Rwang Pam Stadium in Jos.

Idoko told NAN that the players were mentally and physically prepared for the challenges ahead of the new season, adding that the acquisition of a new coach was a big boost to the club.

“You cannot have a 100 per cent preparation, therefore, so far, I think we have done a lot in terms of pre-season preparations as we await the commencement of the league.

“We kept playing preseason tournaments to prepare the minds of our players, keep them in shape as well as perfect our team strategy.

“We lost our coach, Solomon Ogbiede two weeks to the Super Six last season, may his soul rest-in-peace, however, we have acquired the services of one of the best coaches in the country, Gbenga Ogunbote.

“He has high pedigree and by the grace of God we believe that he can help us secure a continental slot and if possible, hopefully go ahead to win the league this season,’’ he said.

NAN reports that Ogunbote, a former Gateway United, Sunshine Stars, Shooting Stars and Rangers International Football Club of Enugu gaffer signed a one-year contract with the Makurdi based club.

Ogunbote guided Rangers to a third-place finish in the 2018/2019 NPFL Championship playoffs and also clinched a Confederations Cup spot.

During his two-year spell at Rangers, he won his first ever silverware in two decades as a coach when he guided the Flying Antelopes to their maiden AITEO Cup title in 35 years, defeating Kano Pillars 4-2 on penalties after regulation time ended 3-3 in 2018.

On his prediction for their first game of the season, Idoko said that it would be a tough encounter but expressed optimism that his team would emerge victorious.

“Its a local derby (North Central derby), we are playing Plateau United in Jos, therefore, it promises to be a nervy and mouth-watering encounter.

“It has always not been easy when both sides clash but we are hopeful of carrying the day.

“There were a lot of challenges confronting the league which led to the long delay in the kick-off of the 2019/2020 season, however, I am confident that the league would begin as soon as possible.

“We just came out of a consultative meeting after the draws were made in Abuja on Monday, it is clear that we have challenges but I believe that in the next three weeks the league should commence.’’

The long awaited league is expected to kick-off on Nov. 3 and end May 30, 2020. (NAN)


VO/OYE/EEE

Edited by Celine-Damilola Oyewole/Ese E. Ekama

 

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Lobi Stars beat Ingas FC 3-0 to win preseason trophy

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Lobi Stars Football Club of Makurdi on Tuesday defeated Ingas Football Club of Enugu 3-0 on penalties to win the maiden edition of Ifeanyi Ekwueme preseason football tournament in Enugu.

The match ended 1-1 at regulation time even as Joseph Osayande put Ingas FC ahead in the 36th minute while Abdukarim Mumuni drew level for Lobi Stars in the 38th minute.

The two teams, however, could not score after the interval leading to the penalty shutout.

Alimi Sikiru of Lobi Stars emerged the highest goal scorer of the tournament with four goals from three matches while Amaechi Orji of Ifeanyi Ekwueme FC won the best player of the tournament.

Onyedika Okoro of Ingas FC won the best goalkeeper as he conceded only a goal in the tournament which was in the final match against Lobi Stars FC.

Meanwhile, the six teams that participated in the tournament were given two official balls each.

Speaking with Nigeria News Agency after the tournament, the best goalkeeper of the tournament, Okoro, expressed joy for being among the best.

”I did not expect this but this showed that I have a lot to offer to my team and to Nigerian Football.

”My experience in the Nigeria Premier League with Bendel Insurance FC helped me a lot.

”I played on loan at Bendel Insurance but my loan has ended that is why I returned to my club, Ingas FC,” he said.

Okoro expressed the hope  that he could play in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) and take his career to Europe.

”We lost to inexperience as none of our players scored his penalty,” Okoro said.

NUO/IKU/DCU

Edited by Tayo Ikujuni/Donald Ugwu

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Pre-season tourney: Lobi Stars FC beat Ifeanyi Ekwueme FC 2-1

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Lobi Stars Football Club of Makurdi on Monday in Enugu defeated Ifeanyi Ekwueme Football Club 2-1 in one of the matches of the 2019 Ifeanyi Ekwueme pre-season football tournament.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that six clubs are participation in the tournament.

Alimi Siriku put Lobi Stars in front in the 20th minute, but Solomon Enudi levelled the game for Ifeanyi Ekwueme FC in the 42nd minute.

Lobi Stars went in front again in the 45th minute of the match when Sikiru got his brace in the match.

In the other match of the day, Ingas Football Club of Enugu drew 0-0 with Delta Force Football Club of Asaba.

The competition which started on Sunday had earlier seen Lobi Stars thrashing Goddosky FC 5-1 as Delta Force defeated Udala FC 3-1 on Sunday.

With the results so far, Lobi Stars lead the way with six points from two matches while Delta Force are on four points after two matches.

Ingas FC have one point while Udala FC, Goddosky FC and Ifeanyi Ekwueme FC are left without any point after the second day of matches.

The pre-season event will end on Tuesday.(NAN)
NUO/OLAL

(Edited by Olawale Alabi)

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Gov. Ortom didn’t set up committee to probe Lobi Stars, Benue govt. says

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Terver Akase, the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to Benue’s Gov. Samuel Ortom, says the governor has not set up a committee to probe the management board of Lobi Stars Football Club.

Akase, in a statement made available to the Nigeria News Agency on Wednesday, clarified issues on the committee’s mandate.

“The committee set up by the Governor on Tuesday, which is headed by the Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development, Ladi Ajene, has the mandate to draft guidelines and the job description for the board and management staff of Lobi Stars.

“In addition, the committee is to clearly draw the management organogram of the club,’’ he said.

The CPS also said the Governor’s decision became necessary so as to end frequent disagreements and clash of roles between the club’s management board members and the board’s Vice-Chairman.

“We want the public, particularly football fans, to disregard any insinuation that the committee has been put in place to probe the activities of the Lobi Stars FC management,’’ he added.

(Edited by Olawale Alabi)

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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