The 2023 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) runner-up, Remo Stars of Ikenne, have booked their place in the final of the maiden Naija Super 8 tournament. Daniel Ogunmodede’s boys secured the slot courtesy of a 2-1 victory over Lobi Stars in the first semi-final match played at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, yesterday.
Remo Stars qualified for the semi-finals by a hairbreadth, but dominated the opening exchanges of the match, and nearly forced Lobi Stars defence to an own goal in the 13th minute.
In return, Lobi Stars danger man, Joseph Atule, forced Remo Stars goalkeeper, Kayode Bankole into a fingertip save in the 20th minute.
The Ikenne boys opened the scoring in the 24th minute through Dena Akorli, who guided Isaac James’ pinpoint cross into the bottom corner. Atule was close to drawing Lobi Stars level in the 31st minute, crashing his half-volley against the upright.
The Remo Stars keeper was forced into another big save in the 40th minute, as Lobi Stars pushed for the equaliser. Bankole preserved his side’s lead into the break with another brilliant save to deny Liman Amadu, late the half.
Two minutes into the second half, Nduka Junior doubled Remo Stars lead, heading home from a Conner. Lobi Stars found a way back into the match courtesy of a handball in the box by Nwaeze Boniface. Atule made no mistake from the spot to half the deficit in the 62nd minute. Remo Stars held on to claim the victory.
In his post match interview, Remo Stars coach, Daniel Ogunmodede, said his boys were well prepared for Lobi Stars, and are now eyeing the trophy.
“I was opportune to watch Lobi Stars earlier in this tournament and we prepared well against complacency because this is a different Lobi Stars team, with a new manager. We were in control of the match. And when we needed to defend, the boys defended well. I am sure we are going to win this trophy. Everything gives me assurance that we will win it,” he said.