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SPORTS UPDATE

Unity pre-season tournament: Nasarawa United, Lobi Stars zoom Into semi-final

Nasarawa United and Lobi Stars on Wednesday qualified for the Semi-final of the ongoing Unity pre-season tournament holding in Abuja.

The two teams brought their experiences to bear when they dispatched their opponents at the dot of regulation time.

The Solid Miners booked their place in the semi-final when returning Central defender, Emeka Onyema, made the difference against Nigeria National League side, City FC of Abuja, after he lifted highest to nod home a Nentaka Bangs’ corner kick in the 59th minute of the tension-soaked encounter.

Former Niger Tornadoes shot-stopper, Yinka David, had to be at his best to earn United the deserved victory after severally denying the opponents from drawing level.

Obasi Dennis, Anas Yusuf, Abubakar Abdullahi and Ayuba Francis each made attempts on goal to increase United’s scoreline but were unlucky.

In the second quarter-final pairings, two goals from the duo of Lobi Stars Alex Jerry and Umar Abba combined to score in both halves of the game to stop the ambition of Like-Minds FC to progress into the last 4 of this year’s Unity Soccer Tournament, Abuja 2022.

Jerry Alex was on the score sheet with just 23 minutes of play when he was clever to cover the first post to divert a pullout into the net from the right side of the attack by former Abia Warriors winger Mustapha Jubrin.

The goal was his second since the start of the tournament which put Lobi Stars ahead going into the break.

In the second stanza, Mathias Samuel who has brought an unprecedented innovations into Lobi Stars midfield since signing for the Makurdi based side, the former Plateau United man created the needed environment for Umar Abba.

The Like-Minds boys fought hard and reduced the deficit to 1-2 when Gabriel Achu scored in the 79th minute to reignite comeback, though all their efforts proved abortive.

At the nick of time, goalkeeper Mustapha Alinko of Lobi Stars was assumed to have tripped junior international Onuche Ogbelu, but the referees allowed play to continue.

Both teams now await their opponents in the semifinals after the two remaining games on Thursday between Mahanaim FC and Setraco FC, and EFCC against FWC Champions.

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