Lobi Stars needed a late goal from substitute Nanen Imenger to overcome a stubborn Rivers United 1-0 in a matchday 25 Nigeria Professional Football League game at the Aper Aku Stadium in Makurdi on Friday.
Imenger, who was brought on with 16 minutes left, finished off with a superb header to secure the three points for Lobi.
The win temporarily takes Lobi to third on 39 points in the NPFL table, while Rivers United remain 15th on 30 points.
Lobi Stars are now unbeaten in their last 77 home games in the league since a 4-3 defeat to Bayelsa United in July, 2013.
Lobi Stars bossed the first 10 minutes of the game but could not break down a resolute Rivers United defence.
Lobi continued to edge the game and went close again on 13 minutes but David Tyavkase’s 25 yard strike went off target.
In the 23rd minute, Rivers United were forced into an early change as skipper Festus Austin went off injured.
In the 44th minute, Rivers United had their first attempt on goal through Ayo Saka whose effort from range went off target.
Lobi started on the front foot in the early part of the second half and, just like the first half, found it difficult to break down Rivers.
In the 57th minute, Rivers United were dealt another injury blow as Lukman Mohammed was stretchered off and was replaced by Christian Weli.
Lobi’s constant pressure was finally rewarded on 63 minute when the referee pointed to the penalty spot for a foul on Anthony Okpotu inside Rivers United’s box but Okpotu’s effort was saved by Femi Thomas.
Okpotu had a chance to redeem himself on 72 minutes but he failed to get a clean header on Sunday Akleche’s corner which went narrowly wide.
In the 77th minute, Thomas pulled off two quick saves from point blank range to keep Rivers in the game.
Lobi kept piling the pressure and went close on 81 minutes but Kingsley Eduwo missed a big chance from close range.
Lobi eventually got the breakthrough goal on 86 minutes thanks to substitute Imenger who headed Solomon Kwambe’s cross past Thomas to give Lobi a deserved lead.
Read more at http://www.completesportsnigeria.com/npfl-lobis-late-goal-sinks-rivers-united-despite-missed-penalty/#Ze0VaTjOh8ZG1Gb7.99