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Match Report: Kumaga, The Hero as Lobi Stars pip Tornadoes in Lafia

Lobi Stars dig deep to maintain the unbeaten home record in the north-central derby clash as Suur Kumaga's long range strike was all the Pride of Benue needed to pick maximum three points against a hard fighting Niger Tornadoes.

Coach Eugene Agagbe welcomed Samuel Tiza back into the team, drafted Francis Odinaka to pair with Moses Tsehuan at the heart of the defence while Sunday Chinedu started on the bench as the gaffer retained Suur Kumaga to the right back as the match gets underway.

Tornadoes had less possession in the game as the home team dominated proceedings from the beginning of the game to the 90th minute.

Stanley Oganbor almost broke the deadlock in the 3rd minute of play when he released a long-range strike which failed to hit the desired target. 

Lobi Stars goalkeeper Lucky Adullahi was in the right spot to save Clinton Japthet's close-range header when the Tornadoes winger noded on target.  

Goalkeeper Enaholo had to go the extra mile to deny Tiza from his well-taken freekick as the first half ended 0-0.  

Both teams returned for the final minutes of the game as  Coach Agagbe replaced Samuel Tiza, and Stephen Eneji, with Suleiman Mojereola and Sunday Chinedu for more tactical play.  

As the minutes ticked down, the Ikon Allah boys defended resolutely while the Yes Father boys kept faith in their philosophy of pressing forward knocking on the visitors to exploit.

However, The Shoe Get Size Boys finally made the breakthrough in the 75th minute when Suur Kumaga surged forward from the right back and converted a half-chance into a full chance when he released a long-range bullet with his left foot to beat Enaholo in goal to change the scoreline to 1-0 in favour of Lobi Stars.

The Minna-based side came all out in search of an equalizer, but Japhet's effort was denied by the crossbar as the Shoe Gets Size boys emerged victorious in the North Central Derby upon full time to end the year on a brighter note.  

With the 1-0 victory, the Food Basket Team has gathered 29 points to go joint top on the league table with Remo Stars.  

Speaking after the match, Coach Eugene Agagbe thanked his side for the wonderful performance.

"I thanked my boys for playing under instruction in the second half of the game, the boys played with character and it showed that they are equal to the task and are ready to get what they are looking for in the 23/24 season and our most target is to be among the first three" Agagbe maintained.

Up next, Lobi Stars will be traveling to Ilorin, to face Kwara United for another North Central derby on Matchday 17.

Credit: Lobi Stars Media

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