NPFL Matchday 18: How Rangers Humiliated Akwa United In Uyo

NPFL Matchday 18: How Rangers Humiliated Akwa United In Uyo

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By Sobenna Nwagbo

Seven-time champions of the Nigeria Professional Football League, Enugu Rangers on Sunday demolished defending champions, Akwa United in Uyo in their matchday 18 encounter.

The Flying Antelopes who declared before their trip to the Nest of Champions said they were “condemned” to win them and that they did in a sublime fashion as they thrashed the hapless hosts 3-0 in the backyard.

It was Rangers 3rd win on the road in the league this season.

The match started with Akwa on 27 points  and Rangers 28 points after 17 matches each, both teams trying to outsmart each other knowing that whoever grabs the three maximum points will automatically climb the league table, cruising on 3rd position. Akwa capitalized in her home advantage and Rangers on her away form, 90 minutes into the match became the decider.

Rangers in the first 20 minutes, was defending from the attacks and pressure mounted on their 18 yard box by Akwa United all through. But in the 21st  minutes, Rangers knocked at the post of Akwa United where  the Camerounian Goalkeeper, Efala Jean was in charge, but Rangers Captain of the day, Kenechukwu Agu could not convert the opportunity when he was one on one with the Goalkeeper.

In a counter attack, Wisdom Fernando of Akwa United also had one on one also with Seidu Mutawakilu, who parried the ball to corner kick. The Ghanian International was at his best in the match, as he made so many saves for Rangers.

The two teams could not score each other in the first half. In second half, Samuel Pam opened the scoring line in 55th minutes with a mid-air volley from outside 18 yard box. Subsequently, Chidiebere Nwobodo increased the goal difference in 70th minutes and Shedrack Asiegbu made the goal difference three goals for Rangers, humiliating the home team, Akwa United.

In a Post match interview, the Head Coach of Akwa United, Coach Jerome Atume said “we created some chances, but could not score. The loss is a shock to us. Rangers is a team we know that dominate the midfield, we tried not to allow them, but the strength of their midfield is more than our own. We need to go and work on our finishing”.

For the Technical Adviser of Rangers, Abdu Maikaba, “I am very happy about the result, but preferred it happened to another team, because Akwa United is still my team. This result should not deter them. I see a good team that needs time to jell”. He was asked, if the field of play contributed to the team success? He said, “yes, I told my boys, any team that knows how to play football, can play hear. We can’t talk about Ifeanyi Uba Stadium, if we can’t play hear”.

With this result, Rangers is now placed third on the league table with 31 points behind Rivers United with 39 points and Plateau United with 38 points after 18 matches.

Next Rangers next match is a home game on Sunday, 20th of March against Lobi Stars of Makurdi.

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