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NPFL: Nasarawa Utd boss Nikyu: We’re happy we took our chances against Rangers

Overwhelmed Nasarawa United coach, Bala Nikyu, has said he was excited that his wards justified themselves against Rangers in the NPFL duel on Monday.

Nasarawa boys disciplined Rangers 3-0 during the keenly contested match in front of their teeming supporters.

“3-0 score line is a good game any day. It’s not because we played better but we took the chances that came our way. Rangers actually played very good football. At a time, I was actually afraid of what they were playing, especially their number 17 (Ibrahim Olawoyin), very crafty player. It was a good thing for us that anytime you have an opportunity, we made good use of it.”

It was another bad day in the office for visiting Rangers International F.C at the Lafia City stadium as they were punished by a very determined Nasarawa United F.C for some horrendous defending.

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It took just five minutes for Ikenna Offor, who two-season tried out with the ‘Flying Antelopes’ unsuccessfully, exposed the rear of the visiting side as he ran onto an Obasi Chigozie’ long ball to blast an unstoppable canon of a shot past Femi Thomas who was between the sticks for Rangers.

As the much experienced side tried to fight back, it was dealt a big blow as defender, Ifeanyi Nweke limped out injured to be replaced by Ivorian, Issif Traore and the much hungrier, ‘Solid Miners’ were pushed back but the four-man backline of coach Bala Nikyu were alive to their duties to snuff out any danger created by the lively, Ibrahim Olawoyin, Christian Nnaji and Elijah Ani.

On 42 minutes, another loss of concentration by Rangers backline allowed Aliyu Adam to outrun them to connect a Chinedu Ohanachom’ flick-on from another Obasi Chigozie shot from his defence line to dispatch beyond the sprawling hands of Femi Thomas.

The introduction of Shedrack Asiegbu and Godspower Aniefiok by coach Salisu Yusuf on 65 minutes for Ugochukwu Ugwuoke and Elijah Ani helped to bring stability going forward but a little rush of blood to the head by Godspower meant he had to go for an early shower as he was shown the red card by the referee on 74 minutes to make any come-back, more herculean.

With just few minutes to the end of the match day 37, NPFL 2020/2021 fixture, the host benefited from their numerical advantage to further punish the visitors as Ini Edem blasted home from the edge of the box, an unstoppable shot on 89 minutes to hand the ‘Flying Antelopes’ its worst defeat of the season and end any dreams of continental football next season in the Coal city.

Coach Mbwas Mangut said after the encounter, “It was a disappointing outing because we started the game slowly that led to anxiety which led to our conceding the first goal early in the game that really destabilized the team. In the second half, we tried to get something from the game but got hard done by the red card. I give kudos to the Nasarawa United team, a young side that can circulate the ball well.”

With the result, Rangers remain in 7th position on the log going into the last fixture of the season at home against Plateau United on Thursday, August 5, 2021 at ‘The Cathedral’, Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium, Enugu.

RANGERS TEAM: Femi Thomas, Tope Olusesi, Ifeanyi Nweke (Issif Traore -25th Min.), Tony Shimaga, Uche John, Ernest Governor, Ugochukwu Ugwuoke (Shedrack Asiegbu -65th Min.), Ibrahim Olawoyin, Christian Nnaji (Felix Ogbuke -85th Min.), Elijah Ani (Godspower Aniefiok -65th Min.), Chiamaka Madu (Daniel Vendaga -85th Min.). SUBS NOT USED: Seidu Mutawakilu, Christian Madu, Isaac Loute, Charles Tiesso.

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