Header Ads

CCL: Lobi beat Sundowns in group opener

Nigeria’ s representatives Lobi Stars on Friday began their CAF Champions League group stage campaign with a 2 - 1 win over South African champions Mamelodi Sundowns at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium , Enugu.

Goals from Yaya Kone and Samuel Mathias gave Lobi their first win in the group stages of the competition . The Nigerians came from a goal down after Sundowns had taken the lead through Anthony Lafor .

The Makurdi club have three points while the Brazilians have no point in the group – with their nine- match unbeaten run in all competitions coming to an end . Before the match , Sundowns had won five matches and drawn four .

After a good start to the match , which the Nigerians dominated, Sundowns almost took the lead in the ninth minute when Lobi keeper Olufemi Kayode was forced to save from a Ricardo Nascimento header, which came from a Sundowns corner .

Lobi responded with several chances which were frittered away as they failed to make their dominance count. Sundowns goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene comfortable gathered most tame shots aimed at him .

Against the run of play , 2016 Champions League winners Sundowns went in front in the 38 th minute when Liberia international Lafor was found unmarked from a counter- attack . The Sundowns striker coolly put the ball beyond Kayode to give the visitors the lead .

However, the home team drew level in first half stoppage time from the penalty spot after Sunday Adetunji was fouled by two Sundowns defenders . Kone stepped up and calmly sent Mweene the wrong way for the Lobi equaliser.

In the second half , Lobi continued their domination of the game as they looked to take the lead for the first time in the match . In the 48 th minute , Mweene was forced into a save after Adetunji goal - bound header from a cross almost caught him unawares .

Lobi had an effort ruled out for offside in the 51 st minute by Egyptian referee Ghead Grisha. Adetunji ’s shot was saved by Mweene and the rebound stabbed home by Mathias but the referee adjudged the striker to be offside .

However, one minute later , Matthias scored his second goal of the competition when he fired home from inside the box to beat a stranded goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene .

Lobi, who were without star strikers Samad Kadiri and Sikiru Alimi , stepped up their game after the goal as they searched for more goals . But they were forced to defend better than they did in the first half as the visitors came out in search of an equaliser.

Sundowns’ coach Pitso Mosimane said the Brazilians knew nothing about Lobi before the match .

“ We didn ’ t know anything about them before today (Friday ). We couldn’ t get any of their previous games because they were no more shown on Supersports as was previously done . They played well but it is always tough to play on an artificial pitch ,” he said .

Lobi coach Solomon Ogbeide said the team was far from being perfect.

He said , “ It is a good thing that we got a win in the match because that will give us the right motivation going into the next set of matches . But we still have a lot of work to be done . We are not there yet . ”

Lobi travel to Abidjan for their second match against ASEC Mimosas on January 19 .

No comments

Powered by Blogger.