NPFL Matchday 10: 10-man Warriors Defeat 11 Flying Antelopes In Okigwe
By Ebube Dike
When warriors go for war, victory is expected but when a 10-man Abia Warriors go to ‘war’ against 11 Flying Antelopes, one would expect the latter to outrun the former.
The matchday 10 of Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL will not be easily erased from the memories of the players, management, sponsor and supporters of Enugu Rangers International Football Club as a relegation threatened Abia Warriors reduced by one man defeated the league contenders by a single goal on Monday.
Perhaps, it was a revenge victory for Imama Amakpakabo who led the Enugu Antelopes to conquer the NPFL four years ago but has to part with the team a year later.
To the disappointment of almost everybody at the Stadium, Rangers who dominated and detected the pace of the game after the first 15 minutes, could not locate the back of the net. Within the time Rangers came close to the goalpost, the Goalkeeper – Ojo was always on duty with his players all defending the lone goal scored by Paul Samson at the 23rd minutes of play following a shot from outside 18-yard box piercing through the top edge of the post at the mercy of Rangers shot stopper – Femi Thomas.
The Coach Salisu Yusuf tutored side showed class though the class could not result to victory as Imama Amapakabo tutored side took all the three available points at stake in the match. Godspower Aniefiok, Tony Shimaga and Uche John were so exceptional in discharging their duties.
Abia Warriors were reduced to 10 man following second yellow card issued to Daniel Wotlia that resulted to a red card in the 60 minute. They held on to the 1-0 goal line till end of 90 minutes.
Though Rangers lost the match, but still maintain their fifth position on the League table with 17 points from 10 matches and Abia Warriors still in relegation zone with 9 points from 10 matches too. This match is the second match Coach Imama is winning for Abia Warriors since he joined the team.
According to Coach Imama, “I knew this match will be a tactical one. I was fortunate to have worked under Coach Salisu Yusuf in the national team, I could predict what he could do, I am happy we got it right”.
Next Rangers match is on Sunday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium with Kwara United by 4pm.
Remember, it’s still an indoor game. Fans are not allowed to watch the match.