Lobi Stars win Gold Cup
Lobi Stars have won this year’s edition of the Gold Cup pre-season tournament by defeating MFM FC 4-3 on penalties at the Dipo Dina Stadium in Ijebu-Ode on Sunday.
In the all-Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) clash, the teams could not be separated in regulation time as they fired blanks to record a 0-0 draw.
It was a game of two halves as MFM ran Lobi ragged in the first and then got the same dose of their own medicine in the second half.
MFM FC were on top of things in the first 45 minutes but lacked that final touch to put the ball away despite creating several scoring chances.
Chukwuka Onuwa controlled things for MFM in the middle of the park and was clearly the man whose sleek play made the Olukoya Boys look like the real McCoy.
Agbane Candy also proved to be handful for the Lobi back four with his darting runs on and off the ball.
Close to the break, MFM striker Sikiru Olatunbosun missed a glorious chance to put his team ahead as he aimed his attempt well wide from close range.
If MFM had their imprint written on the first half then whatever Godwin Uwua told his Lobi team in the locker room during the break paid off.
It was Lobi Stars who dominated in the second 45 minutes but MFM did well to hold their lines.
Five minutes into the restart, Cletus Itodo, who came off the bench at the break, could only shoot off target despite having time and space to cover.
MFM goalkeeper Emmanuel Nasamu was also forced into making a few saves to keep his team in the contest.
At the death, the Lagos club nearly stole it but Olawale Abisoye’s strike struck the upright when everyone thought that would have been the winner.
Nasamu did quite well to keep out three spot kicks in the penalty shootout, but his teammates failed to cover themselves in glory as Lobi claimed the Gold Cup 4-3 via penalties.
The Olukoya Boys had consolation in individual prizes as Olatunbosun won the top scorer award and Onuwa was named the tournament’s best player.