Striker Samad Kadiri scored with the last kick of the first half to give nominated league champions Lobi Stars a 1-0 win over 10-man Cup kings Rangers FC and lift the 2018/19 Nigerian Super Cup title in Asaba.
Kadiri profitted from a defensive mistake by Rangers captain Okey Odita to punish the Flying Antelopes in the game decided shortly after Nigeria’s friendly match against Uganda at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in the Delta state capital on Tuesday evening.
Rangers new signing Pascal Seka almost gave Gbenga Ogunbote’s men the lead in the fifteenth minute but his well struck half-volley on the turn came off John Lawrence’s left post and rebounded to safety.
Both sides looked to fashion out scoring chances in different ways in the first half with Rangers forward line led by former Nigerian World Cup star Michael Uchebo looking lively while old warhorse Cletus Itodo and Kadiri were a handful for the opposing side.
It was Kadiri who latched onto Odita’s attempt at heading John Lawrence’s punt to his goalkeeper but the former Sunshine Stars forward pounced and finished home beyond Nana Bonsu.
Rangers hopes of drawing level in the second half were effectively dashed in the 81st minute when defensive midfielder Solomon Okpako was dismissed for a second bookable offence late in the game.
Coach Solomon Ogbeide’s Lobi almost made their numerical advantage count a minute later but substitute Yaya Kone was first denied by Bonsu before Rangers defender Akpos Adubi deflected the follow up wide.
Lobi Stars held on for their win and earned the bragging rights going into next week’s CAF Champions League preliminary round game against US Loum of Cameroon. Rangers are in the Confederation Cup to face Ethiopian side Defence Force.