RANGERS DIM THE SHINE OF SUNSHINE IN ENUGU
Three first half and an early second half goals were enough for coach Salisu Yusuf’ wards to dim the shine of visiting Sunshine Stars under coach Deji Ayeni who got a consolation goal from the spot in a match day 27, NPFL 2020/21 fixture in Enugu.
Players of the ‘Flying Antelopes’, Rangers International F.C did not hide their intension to carry the day as Ifeanyi Nweke connected home with the head, an inviting cross from Chiamaka Madu on 4 minutes after some neat inter-change of passes on the right wing.
An injury to ‘Birthday Boy’, Ebuka Anthony at the heart of Rangers defense meant an early substitution for coach Salisu’ men as Ernest Governor was thrown into the fray on 7 minutes but target for the day remained the same as the back-four of the visitors were kept busy by the quartet of Chiamaka Madu, Israel Abia, Christian Nnaji and Ibrahim Olawoyin.
Israel Abia scored the second goal on 25 minutes as he scrambled home off a goal mouth melee just as goalkeeper, Uche Okafor’ strong arms and reflexes denied Olawoyin at the half hour mark but there was no stopping Godspower Aniefiok’ effort from the edge of the box on 35 minutes after he ghosted past four opponents.
Two minutes into the second half, Christian Nnaji extended the lead when he was set up by Israel Abia after some slack defending from the visitor’ backline but on 51 minutes, former ‘Antelope’, Ifegwu Ojukwu slotted home from the spot after a team mate was tripped inside the box.
Efforts by both teams to get more goals failed to see the light of the day with the host guilty of throwing away more begging chances.
Chief Coach of the Enugu side, Mbwas Mangut after the encounter said, “It was a very good approach from the boys. We started on a very good note just as we planned to stop them from building up from the back and the goals came which gave us the victory. The win is a good motivation for us going into our next match and we hope to build on it as we go to Aba for a difficult and interesting fixture against Enyimba on Wednesday.”
Ifeanyi Nweke who scored his first goal for Rangers with a thunderous header, said after the fixture, “I am very happy with our win today and I thank God for my first goal in the colors of Rangers. With our level of preparation for the match I knew it was going to be an easy game even though, our opponents played some good football in the second half.”
With the win, Rangers are on the 6th spot on the log with 42 points from 26 matches and will next play neighbors, Enyimba International in a rescheduled match day 20 ‘Oriental Derby’ at the Enyimba stadium, Aba on Wednesday, June 16, 2021.
RANGERS TEAM: Seidu Mutawakilu, Tope Olusesi, Ifeanyi Nweke, Tony Shimaga, Ebuka Anthony (Ernest Governor -7th Min.), Uche John, Godspower Aniefiok, Chiamaka Madu (Kenechukwu Agu -66th Min.), Christian Nnaji (Femi Ajayi -66th Min.), Israel Abia (Ugochukwu Ugwuoke -53rd Min.), Ibrahim Olawoyin (Chidiebere Nwobodo -53rd Min.). SUBS NOT USED: Japheth Opubo, Charles Tiesso, Esor Achibong, Tony Eliagwu.
GOALS: Ifeanyi Nweke -4th Min., Israel Abia -25th Min., Godspower Aniefiok -35th Min., Christian Nnaji -47th Min.