Bayelsa United Chairman Expresses Optimism Ahead Of Lobi Stars Aiteo Cup Clash
By Our Correspondent
After securing victory against six time Aiteo cup champions, Enugu Rangers in the Round of sixteen, action returns on Wednesday in the competition.
Top of the third round pair is the fixture between 2009 Nigeria Professional Football League champions, Bayelsa United and Lobi Stars of Makurdi.
Bayelsa United and Lobi Stars will face off at the refurbished Dan Anyiam Studium Owerri, after the Yenagoa based side dispatched Nigerian Air force in the preliminary round and Enugu Rangers in the round of sixteen courtesy of Victory Beniangba’s goal.
Lobi Stars on the other hand beat follow NPFL side Yobe Desert Stars to secure their Aiteo cup third round passage as the Makurdi based side who are currently eighth in the NPFL log with Forty Six points will hope to return to the continent having participated in the past.
Speaking on the importance of the game, Chairman of Bayelsa United, Mr Ebiki Timitimi said with the spirit in camp, he was optimistic of getting victory against Lobi Stars, pointing out that the defeat against Rangers has placed his side as contenders.
When asked the on the secret behind Bayelsa United success for far, he attributed it to the management style of giving priority to the welfare of players.
Reflecting on the surprises the Aiteo cup brings, Mr, Ebiki Timitimi believes that it is not impossible for Bayelsa United to win the Aiteo cup, saying that Gateway United victory over NPFL league leaders Akwa United was an indication that any team could win the trophy.
He thanked Governor Douye Diri for his relentless support for the team, assuring Bayelsans that the team would return to the NPFL at the end of the season.
However, this particular fixture in the last six years has produced fourteen goals. On November 2nd, 2014, in the Nigeria Football Professional Football League, Bayelsa United pummeled Lobi Stars 4-1, but Lobi Stars same year on May 28, 2014 beat the Yenagoa based side 2-0, while on March 10th, 2013 Bayelsa United secured a one nil victory over Lobi Stars.
The clash continued on March 8, 2015, when Lobi Stars held Bayelsa United to a one all draw at the Oghara Township, Stadium, while on August 5, 2015, Lobi Stars spanked Bayelsa United 3-0.
The most recent triumph for the coach Diepreye Teibowei side was at the Governor Wike Invitational tournament in Port Harcourt as two goals from Okardi Inikurogha and Robert Mizo ensured that Lobi Stars exited the tournament.