Still seething with anger over the unwarranted attack on them in the week 30 match in Kaduna on June 8, Lobi Stars are set to punish Niger Tornadoes as they conclude the remaining 45 minutes of the abandoned match on Wednesday, June 22 in Jos as ordered by the League Management Company (LMC).
It will be recalled that when the relegation-troubled clubs confronted each other at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium Kaduna, irate fans believed to be supporters of Niger Tornadoes physically assaulted the match officials as well as some players and officials of Lobi Stars at half time when the tie was still goalless.
The match was eventually abandoned as the traumatised match officials couldn’t carry on with their duties even as the equally assaulted Lobi Stars were ready to conclude the match.
Among other punitive measures taken against Tornadoes which include two points deduction from accured points, they have been ordered to conclude the remaining 45 minutes with Lobi Stars at the New Jos township stadium.
So, the stage is now set for the final showdown between the two north-central rivals who desperately need the three points at stake in the week 30 match to be guaranteed a place in the topflight next season.
It is imperative to note that the two clubs have been running neck-to-neck on the league table so the result of Wednesday’s game will help in separating the boys from the men as Tornadoes and Lobi Stars are currently placed 15th and 16th on the log with the ‘Ikon Allah’ boys ahead on goal difference.
With 40 points from 33 completed matches each, Lobi Stars have shown higher capacity in terms of goal scoring, having scored a total of 30 goals as against Niger Tornadoes’ 24. However, the “Shoe get Size” boys have conceded more goals than Tornadoes.
Despite going down 3-1 in their last league match against Remo Stars in Ikenne, it is on record that Lobi Stars have not lost their next match after conceding more than two goals in a previous match and the game in view happens to be the next after the painful loss in Ikenne.
Consequently, expectations are high that Lobi Stars will annex the maximum points in this must win match to finally leave the drop zone.
On current form, Lobi Stars have an edge over their opponents, having won 2, drawn 2 and lost only one in their last 5 outings while Niger Tornadoes have won 2 and lost 3.
Head-to-head in the last five matches between the north-central rivals, Lobi Stars have won 2, drawn 3 while Tornadoes have won none of the 5 matches.
It is also necessary to reiterate that considering the precarious positions of the two clubs on the table, this 45 minutes contest is a potential lifeline for the eventual winner.
As such, the ‘Glory to Glory’ boys who have received an overdose of motivation from former Nigerian international and Vice Chairman/CEO of the club, Dominic Iorfa, have vowed to approach the game like a cup final.
It’s indeed a winner takes all contest in which no prisoners will be taken.