Rangers International of Enugu have shifted their target to Makurdi after Sunday’s 1-1 draw against Mountain of Fire and Miracles Football club.
A rear slip at the back by the ‘Flying Antelopes’, Rangers defenders allowed substitute, Chimezie Izuchukwu of M.F.M enough space to lob the ball over the goalkeeper, Seidu Mutawakilu on 69 minutes and an equalizer from Ugochukwu Ugwuoke on 83 minutes ensured both sides shared the spoils in a match day 25, NPFL 2020/2021 fixture.
Playing a near dominance 4-5-1 formation, the coach Salisu Yusuf tutored side were quick off the block as soon as referee Joseph Ogabor signaled the start of hostilities with Godspower Aniefiok, Ibrahim Olawoyin and Esor Achibong pulling the strings in the middle of the pack but lone ranger upfront, Christian Nnaji had little to do against the towering backline of the visitors.
The quartet of Najeem Adeyinka, Precious Roland, Adikwu Moses and Ifeanyi Onyebuchi showed enough grit to contain all that was thrown at them just as goalkeeper Adeniyi Bamidele had little to do in the first quarter of the encounter with only Ebuka Anthony’ 6th minute long range effort that he spilled for what would have been the opening goal had Aniefiok directed the rebound.
Esor Achibong saw another opportunity go begging on 38 minute as his connecting volleyed shot off an Olawoyin’ fine delivery, only found the side net to the relief of the visitors.
Rangers gaffer, Yusuf, introduced the duo of Israel Abia and Chinonso Eziekwe ten minutes into the second stanza as he opted for a 4-3-3 formation which pushed the visitors back into their resolute defensive shells to deny the host’ attackers any sniff at goal.
With a quarter of an hour left on the clock, coach Yusuf introduced the duo of Ugochukwu Ugwuoke and Kenechukwu Agu to further push for an equalizer which came on 83 minutes off the boot of Uwguoke who reacted the quickest to jab home after a defender had blocked out Eziekwe’ headed effort off a cross from Kenechukwu Agu.
Goalkeeper, Adeniyi Bamidele made a world class save on 89 minute to deny Eziekwe’ well drilled shot from the tightest of angles just as the referee waved off a penalty call inside added on time after Najeem Adeyinka had tripped Ernest Governor inside the box.
Chief coach of Rangers, Mbwas Mangut, said after the encounter, “It was a game we planned to win but did not start the game as we wanted. The second half was much better but we gifted our opponent the lead, got the equalizer and would have gotten the winning goal but for some good goalkeeping. We keep working and hope to regain the lost points in coming matches.”
Rangers maintained their 6th place on the log with 39 points and will travel to Makurdi for a match day 26 fixture, midweek.
RANGERS TEAM: Seidu Mutawakilu, Tope Olusesi, Loute Isaac (Ernest Governor -78th Min.), Charles Tiesso, Ebuka Anthony, Uche John, Chiamaka Madu (Ugochukwu Ugwuoke -75th Min.), Esor Achibong (Israel Abia -55th Min.), Godspower Aniefiok (Chinonso Eziekwe -55th Min.), Christian Nnaji (Kenechukwu Agu -75th Min.), Ibrahim Olawoyin. SUBS NOT USED: Femi Thomas, Shedrack Asiegbu, Ifeanyi Nweke, Felix Ogbuke.