The ‘Flying Antelopes’, Rangers International F.C, Sunday inside the main bowl of Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna continued its fine form in the ongoing season as hosts, Kano Pillars forced the Enugu side to a 1-1 draw in a matchday 14, NPFL 2021 fixture.
Defender, Ernest Governor was the unlikely hero of the day as his connecting header from an Esor Achibong’ inch-perfect free kick on 10 minutes sent the few travelling officials from Enugu into wild jubilations while the host were literally in shock.
Coach Salisu Yusuf made three changes to the matchday 13 starters due largely to injuries as Osas Okoro and Esor Achibong found their way back to the starting team while Timothy Simon had his first start of the season.
Godspower Aniefiok was at his imperious best for the time he lasted in the match combining well with Chiamaka Madu and Achibong while Nwobodo Chidiebere and Nnaji Christian were second best in their outputs.
Nyima Nwagwu, Ebuka David, Bright Silas and ageless Rabiu Ali were always a threat to any defense line but the duo of Ernest Governor and Uche John did well to provide the needed cover for Ghanaian shot stopper, Nana Bonsu.
Ali Auwal Malam’ cracking free kick from the edge of the box on 39 minutes drew the host level after the referee had spotted what looked like a handball situation.
Rangers had a man advantage for the last twenty minutes of the encounter after Yusuf Magoro got the referee’ marching order on 70 minutes for wrestling down a goal bound Esor Achibong.
Efforts to get the winning goal did not materialize for either sides till the final blast of the referee’s whistle to end the encounter as the ‘Sai Masu Gida’ side conceded its first goal at their adopted home in Kaduna.
Coach Salisu Yusuf said after the match, “It was a very good game against a very technical side but showed more hunger to win but could not achieve what we wanted in Kaduna. We continue to push and work hard towards getting our targets for the season. I will say that when the host were reduced by one man, we pushed for a possible winner but it was not to be so, we give God all the glory for the point we are taking back to Enugu.”
Ernest Governor said, “I am very happy we were able to get a good result against Kano Pillars and I am even more happier that I scored as that was what I promised some of my friends before the game.”
RANGERS TEAM: Nana Bonsu, Osas Okoro, Timothy Simon, Tony Shimaga, Uche John (Ebuka Anthony -58th Min.), Ernest Governor, Chiamaka Madu (Ugochukwu Ugwuoke – 75th Min.), Chidiebere Nwobodo (Christian Madu – 68th Min.), Godspower Aniefiok (Ifeanyi Okoro -58th Min.), Esor Achibong, Christian Nnaji (Dauda Madaki -75th Min.). SUBS NOT USED: Seidu Mutawakilu, Tony Eliagwu.
Goal: Ernest Governor – 10th Minute.