Joseph Atule’s first-half brace helped Lobi Stars to a 2-0 win over Akwa United in the last group B match at the ongoing Naija Super 8 tournament, Wednesday afternoon at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena in Lagos.
The victory saw Lobi Stars finish top of the group with seven points from three games while Akwa United who made it to the semi final on Monday after their 1-0 win over Rivers United finished as runner-up with six points from the same number of matches.
Atule scored two quick goals in the space of seven first-half minutes to open his goal account in the tournament.
The striker guided a long cross from the right beyond Godgift Elkanah in the 15th minute before completing his brace with a composed finish in the 22nd minute to condemn the Promise Keepers to their only defeat in three group games.
Coach Fatai Osho made six changes to the side that defeated Rivers United in their last game. Godgift Elkanah, Etim Mathew, Ubong Essien, Meshack Dennis, Rilwan Sadiq and Wisdom Fernando all made their first start at the tournament, while Wisdom Ndon, Abbey Benson, David Philip, Cyril Olisema and Uche Collins maintained their places in the starting eleven.
Coach Osho in a post-match interview admitted that he was not perturbed by the outcome of the match, stressing that it was a tactical decision to give all his players the opportunity to feature at the tournament.
“Having already secured our place in the last four, the match with Lobi Stars gave us a good opportunity to see all our players in a competitive match situation as we continue to build for the new league season.
“We observed that we didn’t play well and we made some mistakes especially in the first half but we came back stronger in the second half but we couldn’t overturn the result.
“Remember, this is a pre-season tournament and we have already qualified for the semi final. So, it was a match to determine who tops the group.
“Our next match on Friday will be a different ball game”
Akwa United will know their semi final opponent on Thursday after the last group A game between Sporting Lagos and Katsina United.