Lobi Stars of Makurdi coach, Evans Ogenyi has admitted that his team faced a torrid time and a massive scare in their Federation Cup match against lower division side, Kebbi United, but he is happy that a high level of determination from his players helped them win 1-0.
While reflecting on the run of Sunday’s match in Abuja, Ogenyi said his players lost several chances that put them under pressure, but insisted they were still the better team on the evening.
Other round of 64 results in the 2019 Federation Cup competition last weekend included Rangers 2 Tornadoes Feeders 0, Abia Warriors 1 Heartland Comets 0, Ambassador FC 1 Yobe Desert Stars 0, Rivers United 4 FC Timber Loader 0, and Sokoto United 1 Akwa United 2.
More results were Walli Flamingoes 0 Delta Force 4, Gombe United 3 FC IfeanyiUbah Feeders 0 (W/O), Niger Tornadoes 3 Fasbir FC 0, Enyimba FC 3 Kano Pillars Feeders 1, Gwandu United 2 Katsina United 4, and Jigawa Golden Stars 1 Insurance FC 2.
The results were completed by Police Osogbo 0 El-Kanemi Warriors 6, Setraco United 0 Plateau United 4, Wikki Tourists 4 Qatar FC 0, Layin Zomo FC 1 Sunshine Stars 2, Katsina United Feeders 0 Nasarawa United 1, Kwara United 3 Ben Ayade FC 0 (W/O) and Aspire FC 0 Kano Pillars 4.
Ogenyi, though, admitted he was relieved that his side escaped an upset, as clubs from the top-flight Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) participated in the 2018/19 Aiteo Cup for the first time.
Eleven teams that participated in the 2018/19 NPFL season were in action in Round of 64 matches against lower league oppositions on Saturday and they all scaled the hurdle, waiting for Monday’s draw for the Round of 32.
Current cup holders Rangers International defeated Niger Tornadoes Feeders 2-0 in Ibadan with goals from midfielders Chiamaka Madu and Godwin Aguda. 2017 champions Akwa United also had goals from defender Dennis Nya and forward Ndifreke Udo Effiong to thank in a 2-1 win over Sokoto United in Abuja.
Peter Ubakanma’s brace propelled Rivers United to a 4-0 win over Timber Loaders FC while Samad Kadiri scored the only goal of the game as Lobi Stars edged Kebbi United 1-0 despite a penalty miss by striker Michael Stephen.
Speaking after his side’s hard-fought victory against Kebbi, Ogenyi admitted it was a tough game, but equally pointed out that it would have been easier had his players been able to convert the chances that came their way.
Ogenyi said: “In the first half, we created several chances, but we could not convert any of them, which put us under pressure.
“We had eight corner kicks, but we could not convert any of them. We just thank God that were able to win.”