The ‘Flying Antelopes’, Rangers International F.C, Sunday inside the main bowl of Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium, Enugu, maintained its chase of the front runners on the log with a 2-1 victory over Wikki Tourists in a match day 32 fixture.
Godspower Tower Aniefiok scored within the first minute of play as he connected an Ibrahim Olawoyin’ inviting cross with a powerful header that was too strong for Kolimba Alladoun to keep out exactly on 48 seconds of the game for the game’s opening goal and his 7th of the season.
Coach Salisu Yusuf welcomed back the Super Eagles B quartet back to the squad and handed stating places to three as he kept faith with seven that featured in the 0-2 loss in Ilorin and they never disappointed.
With Ibrahim Olawoyin, Ugochukwu Ugwuoke, Kenechukwu Agu and Tony Shimaga anchoring the middle of the pack, it was left for the duo of Christian Nnaji and Godspower Aniefiok to dig for the goals which would have been in avalanche but for some wasted chances.
Rangers’ ‘Kid on the Block’, Ugochukwu Ugwuoke scored the second for the host with a sublime finish on 19 minutes after receiving a pass from Kenechukwu Agu inside the opponent’ half and dribbled his way through a sea of tackling legs to shot past the sprawling hands of Alladoun.
To their credit, the visitors did not seat back to be consumed as Ismail Mayaki, Idris Guda, Eric Dufegha and Nazifi Yahaya pushed for something as the game progressed and on 41 minute, a Nazifi cross was scrambled into an open net by Ernest Governor for an own-goal.
Profligacy in front of goal by the host meant the game failed to record more goals especially on 58 minutes when Ibrahim Olawoyin and Chinonso Eziekwe could not believe that their efforts failed to rest inside the net while Peter Ambrose made himself very big to save the visitors more blushes on 67 minutes as he blocked out a goal bound shot.
Chief coach of Rangers, Mbwas Mangut said after the encounter, “It was a very good and entertaining match and most importantly, we got the victory we needed. No doubt, the return of our players from national team assignment helped a lot today even when those that did the job in their absence also did well. We continue to take the remaining matches as they come believing that we can still come up with a good position at the end of the season.”
Ugochukwu Ugwuoke in a chat said, “I am very happy with my performance and that of the team today. It can only be God. I thank the coaching crew for their belief in my ability and hope to do more as we push for a good finish and return to the continent.”
With the win, Rangers have now amassed 52 points from 32 matches and are 7th on the 20 team log and will next trade tackle with Eastern neighbors, Heartland in a match day 33 fixture at the Dan Anyiam stadium, Owerri on Sunday, July 18, 2021.
RANGERS TEAM: Nana Bonsu, Tope Olusesi, Isaac Loute (Ifeanyi Nweke -48th Min.), Tony Shimaga, Uche John, Ernest Governor, Kenechukwu Agu (Shedrack Asiegbu -78th Min.), Ugwuoke Ugochukwu (Esor Achibong -66th Min.), Ibrahim Olawoyin, Godspower Aniefiok, Christian Nnaji (Chinonso Eziekwe -48th Min.). SUBS NOT USED: Femi Thomas, Christian Madu, Femi Ajayi, Ebuka Anthony, Dauda Madaki.
GOALS: Godspower Aniefiok – 1st Minute, Ugwuoke Ugochukwu -19th Minute.