A very much improved second-half display by the wards of coach Abdul Maikaba ensured that the ‘Flying Antelopes’, Rangers International F.C snatched all points at stake with a 1-0 win to do a double over visiting Katsina United F.C in a matchday 21, NPFL 2021/2022 fixture played Wednesday inside Awka City Stadium, Anambra state.
Youthful, Chukwuebuka Okorie was the hero of the day for the Enugu landlords as he reacted well to slip the ball past a brilliant Elkanah Godgift in the 57th minute as he was fed by winger, Chidiebere Nwobodo who held off the challenge of three Katsina United players to score what turned out to be the winner and his first goal for the club since joining in the first registration window of the season.
It would have been worse for the visitors just ninety seconds later but for the timely reactionary save produced by Elkanah Godgift to push over the bar a Samuel Pam’ volleyed shot just as efforts from Ossy Martins, substitutes, Christian Nnaji and Elijah Ani failed to trouble the shot-stopper.
The coach Usman Abdallah tutored side defended in their numbers leaving bulky attacker, Ahmed Abdul-Taofeek, upfront to cause any damage in the host’s backline which almost produced positive results on two instances but goalkeeper, Seidu Mutawakilu, proved his mettle between the sticks for the host in the 34th and 45th minutes of play.
Ossy Martins on 44 minutes thought his effort should be resting inside the net but the visitor’s goalkeeper found a way to keep the ball from rolling across the line for what would have been the opening goal of the encounter just as an enterprising midfielder, Kenechukwu Agu saw his well-drilled shot from the edge of the box miss target by inches on 38 minutes.
After the encounter, the coach of Rangers, Abdul Maikaba said, “We are happy to get the three points but my boys should know that if you get the opportunity to score more goals, we should take it. Anything could have happened with their last kick and it would have been difficult to come back. The attitudes my boys exhibited even after scoring, I am not happy with it. At 1-0, our opponents showed signs of tiredness and that would have been the time to harvest goals of which the opportunities were created but failed to convert. We have to be hungry to score goals because the game is all about goals.”
With the victory, Rangers maintain the 3rd spot of the log with 37 points behind the duo of Rivers United and Plateau United who are on 42 and 41 points respectively who have played a game less and will next trade tackles with Oriental rivals, Enyimba International F.C in a matchday 22 fixture on Sunday, April 10, 2022, at the Enyimba Stadium, Aba, Abia state.
RANGERS TEAM: Seidu Mutawakilu, Olawale Doyeni, Bala Akintunde, Kenechukwu Agu (Christian Madu -88th Min.), Ernest Governor, Ebuka Anthony, Ejike Uzoenyi (Christian Nnaji -48th Min.), Samuel Pam (Charles Tiesso -88th Min.), Chukwuebuka Okorie, Chidiebere Nwobodo, Ossy Martins (Elijah Ani 73rd Min.). SUBS NOT USED: Nana Bonsu, Ifeanyi Nweke, Uche John, Tony Eliagwu, Chimezie David.
GOAL: Chukwuebuka Okorie – 57th minute