Plateau United extend derby supremacy vs. Lobi Stars

Etoile Sportive du Sahel's Mohamed Methnani and Tosin Omoleye & Sunday Ngbede of Plateau United MOHAMED MESSARA © BackpagePix

Reuben Bala converted a penalty in each half as Plateau United secured a nervy 2-1 win over NPFL leaders Lobi Stars in the North Central derby on Wednesday.

The reigning champions completed a fight back to win their fourth regional derby of the season in a rescheduled matchday 17 fixture at the New Jos Stadium.

Despite conceding at home for a third straight game, having shipped just one in their opening eight home ties, Plateau rallied back to claim a win which takes them just a point and spot behind Lobi.

Stars remain on top spot with 37 points, having played a game fewer than their rivals. Kano Pillars are third on 35 points, with fourth-placed Niger Tornadoes four points behind.

Lobi's goalscoring form had been impressive away from home heading into the top-of-the table encounter, and they took the lead inside the half hour.

Sunday Akleche netted the opening goal on 27 minutes, a fifth successive strike on the road for the Ortom Boys to hand them the advantage.

However, the impressive Bala continued with the heroics he demonstrated in Plateau's last match against Nasarawa United when he netted a 42nd-minute spotkick.

He then held his nerve to slot home the winner four minutes from time after Jesse Akila was upended in the area.

The loss was a first in six games for Lobi Stars, who had Austine Ogunye sent off for two bookable offences.