Lobi allege poor officiating as Enyimba nick final ticket in Benin

The Peoples Elephant are through to the grand finale of the Federation Cup despite cries from their semi final opponents about bad officiating

Enyimba have sealed a spot in the final of the 2013 Federation Cup slated for September 15 in Lagos after a nail-biting 1-0 win over Lobi Stars on Wednesday in Benin.

Lobi are at the bottom of the Nigeria Professional Football League(NPFL) with 32 points from 26 games and having gone this far in the cup competition, the club was looking at opportunity to extend their fine form this term again.

Ifeanyi Ede, the Enyimba striker however  ended the Makurdi side's fairy tale run at this year's Federation Cup with the winning goal in the 58th minute.

Lobi alleged Ede's careful chip over the onrushing goalkeeper, Terkaa Melai was scored from an offside position.

The Peoples Elephant victory over Lobi thus earned them their fourth final from the last five held competitions.

Enyimba beat Sharks of Port Harcourt 1-0 to cart home the title in 2009 but lost in two successive finals in 2010 and 2011 to Kaduna United and Heartland respectively. They are in search for their third success in the competition having won it in 2005 and 2009.

Lobi's head of media, Jack Moses Ekwe Ekwe however told Goal that the goal that secured a ticket to the final for Enyimba was wrongly adjudged for a goal by the centre referee.

According to him:"Enyimba broke the deadlock off a hotly contested goal-a chip from Ifeanyi Ede in the 58th minute. We contested the goal because Ede, the goal scorer was played in from an offside position.

"We lost to the referees not Enyimba. The ball was clearly out of play before Ede scored from offside position. Besides that, all our penalty appeals were ignored by the highly partisan referee Udoh. Fans who paid in to watch the match also blamed the match officials for ruining the game. They said it was the referee that determined the game for Enyimba,"Ekwe averred.

Enyimba will wait for the winner of Warri Wolves versus Akwa United before knowing whom they would play in the final in Lagos next month.

Heartland, the defending champions were bundled out in the quarter final after their back to back victory in the competition.