Ossy Martins hits brace as Lobi Stars break Heartland in Makurdi
Three second half goals with two of them from Ossy Martins helped Lobi Stars to a comfortable 3-0 win over Heartland in a Matchday 30 of Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) clash played on Wednesday in Makurdi.
Both sides put up a spirited performance in the first half but could not find a breakthrough.
The match played at the famous Aper Aku Stadium saw a different second half display from Coach Kabir Dogo led players after few injections before the restart.
Lobi Stars have now moved to eight on the log with 48 points from 30 games played while Heartland have dropped to 11th place haven garnered 41 points from 30 matches played.
Ossy Martins went close to give Lobi the lead three minutes into the game when he had much space at the edge of box, but shot went wide.
Heartland had their two successive efforts denied by the frame of goal post. First was Monday Yakubu whose chance canoned off the bar before falling to the hands of Aliko and Chijioke Akuneto had his own chance hit the upright before it went out of touch.
Lobi would then take the initiative and took control of the game.
The hosts won a free kick at the edge of Heartland’s goal area and Ebube Duru drew a smart save from Mere Micheal.
Lobi pushed further again when Douglas Achiv delivered a cross for Ossy but the forward arrived late to pounce before Akuneto cleared the line for the Naze Millionaires.
Subsequent scoring efforts from the hosts weren’t well utilized by Douglas and Ossy till the end of first half.
Coach Dogo swapped the trio of Tiza Samuel, Douglas Achiv and Aboidun Kayode for Chinoso Okonkwo, Akile Monday and Onunwa Chukwuka moments before the restart and that quickly paid off for the hosts as Ossy opened the score sheet two minutes later, using his strength to beat his marker before turning in a long throw from Salaudeen Aliu.
Ossy would soon turn provider for Lobi’s second goal two minutes before the hour mark when he delivered a measured pass for substitute Monday Akile to fire past Mere Michael.
The Pride of Benue took full charge of the proceedings making it difficult for the Naze Millionaires to have a go at them.
With a quarter of an hour to end what looked like a one sided second half, Ossy got his brace of the match with an easy tap in from Onunwa’s quick pass.
Heartland had two late chances to get a consolation but were denied by Mustapha Aliko’s swiftness in goal as he made himself too big to deny Williams Wisdom and Akuneto.
Coach Kabiru Dogo told npfl.ng after the game that the victory and performance was a reflection of his side’s strong mentality adding that it would give them confidence going into their next name against Kano Pillars on Sunday.
“Its kind of a response we’ve always wanted and it proved our mentality and character. I believe this will give us the needed morale for the next game against Pillars. If we can add more to what we did today, I believe we can get something in Kano,” he said.