Lobi Stars 1-0 Enugu Rangers: Solomon Kwambe shoots down Flying Antelopes in Markurdi

Lobi Stars
The captain ensured victory for the Pride of Benue despite their numerical disadvantage against the table-toppers

A 10-man Lobi Stars team secured a vital 1-0 win in their Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Matchday 19 tie against Enugu Rangers at Aper Aku Stadium on Sunday.

Captain Solomon Kwambe was the hero for the Pride of Benue as he scored the goal that gave his side the victory despite playing with 10 men for most of the second half following Ezekiel Otudigha's red card.

Coach Solomon Ogbeide, and his opposite figure at Rangers Gbenga Ogunbote, both made changes to their team with the Flying Antelopes gaffer settling for Japhet Opubo in goal.

Felix Ogbuke, after his match-winner against Kwara United, was also rewarded with a starter’s shirt while the duo of Solomon Okpako and Ifeanyi George were paired up front.

Lobi Stars started on the front foot and almost got an early lead but Sikiru Alimi’s header came back off the crossbar with just two minutes on the clock.

While Rangers were happy to have survived the early scare, they were dealt a big blow six minutes into the game when Ifeanyi George limped off injured and was promptly replaced by Ajani Ibrahim.

Rangers were dealt another blow in the 32nd minute when their Ivorian star Seka Pascal was injured and had to make way for Ifeanyi Egwim.

While it was looking like the first half will end with no goals, Kwambe gave the hosts the lead in the second minute of added time with a freekick on the edge of the box.

Kwambe also scored with a freekick in the reverse fixture against the Flying Antelopes in Enugu, which ended 1-1.

Rangers mounted a challenge in the second half as they tried to find their way back into the game and in one of their attacks, Okpako was stamped on by Otudigha, who was given a straight red card for the rash challenge.

Article continues below

With the numerical advantage, the Flying Antelopes tried to get an equaliser but Lobi Stars held on to claim all the three points on offer.

With the three points from Sunday’s home game, Lobi Stars have moved to the second spot in the NPFL Group A table with 30 points from 19 games.

Rangers are still top on the table but their lead has been reduced to four points.