NPFL 2023:Lobi Stars Edge 5 Goal Thriller Against Rivers United to Extend Lead at Top of Group B Log
April, 13 2023.
Elijah Ani scored a goal, deep into stoppage time, as Lobi Stars of Makurdi edged Rivers United of Port Harcourt 3-2 in a rescheduled Day-10 fixture of the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL), played at the new Jos Stadium, on Wednesday.
River United had goalkeeper Victor Sochima sent off with a straight red card in the 26th minute, but held on and ended the first half goalless.
On resumption of play in the second half, the reigning NPFL Champions played with more freedom, not minding that they were a man down, and got rewarded when Ghanaian import, Farouk Mohammed put them in front in the 64th minute.
But the opener lasted for just five minutes, as Lobi Stars drew level in the 69th minute, through Abba Umar; before Wasiu Alalade put them in front for the first time, with four minutes to go, only for Nyima Nwangwa to make it 2-2 for the Pride of Rivers, at the stroke of full time.
Elijah Ani then broke the hearts of many when he slotted a dramatic match winner, in the 96th minute to give Lobi Stars a hard fought victory, and all 3 points at stake, to remain top of the NPFL Group B standing, with 26 points, from 13 games played.
Despite the loss, and one match in hand, Rivers United stayed 2nd on the log, but Stanley Eguma's side are now 6 points, adrift of the table toppers.
Meanwhile, Sunshine Stars of Akure and Wikki Tourists of Bauchi have been hit with separate punishments, for the infractions that marred their matchday 13 fixtures.
Wikki Tourists were slapped with a total fine of ₦2.5 million, in addition to a 3 points, 3 goals deduction; and the closure of their home ground, the Abubakar Tafawa Belawa Stadium, for the rest of the season.
The Bauchi-based Tourists were found guilty of breaching Rule B8.21, Rule C11, B13.52 and B13.18 of the NPFL Framework and Rules when they hosted and lost 1-2 to Bayelsa United on Sunday.
The breaches translate to inadequate security for match officials, assault on match officials by home fans, ineffective crowd control system.
For breach of Rule B8.21, the club was fined ₦1m for failing to provide adequate security for the match officials before, during, and after the match which resulted in the assault of the match officials.
On their part, Sunshine Stars, will cough out N1 million for their failure to implement effective crowd control measures, in their home game against Enugu Rangers at the Ondo Sports Complex in Akure. www.ckdmedia.ng report.
They were given 14 days to pay the penalty, and warned by the Interim Management Committee of a possible closure of the ground if there is a repeat of the breach this season.