NPFL Matchday 25: How 10-man Rangers Defeated Dakkada In Uyo
By Sobenna Nwagbo
In what looked like a revenge on Wednesday at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium Uyo, Rangers International football club of Enugu took her own pound of flesh by defeating Dakkada Football Club of Uyo in their home by 3 goals to 2 in Matchday 25 of Nigeria Professional Football League and placed 4th on the league table.
Dakkada (Akwa Starlet) in the first leg played at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium Enugu defeated Rangers by 2 goals to Zero. That result caused the former Coaches of Rangers their job with continental engagement at hand then. Hence the redeployment of Coach Salisu Yusuf by Nigeria Football Federation on rescue mission to Rangers.
Femi Ajayi of Dakkada opened the scoring line in the 6th minutes of the play following Rangers defence mix up. Israel Abia equalized for Rangers in 20th minutes after missing about two scoring opportunities including one on one with the goalkeeper – Edafe. Ibrahim Olawoyin added to the score line when he led an attack to the home team post with the combination of Chiamaka Madu who located Israel Abia and back to Ibrahim Olawoyin who finally scored. The first half ended in Dakkada 1 – Rangers 2.
In second half, Dakkada came back with more attacking force while Rangers defended. In 62 minutes into the second half, same Femi Ajayi scored the second goal for his team equalling that of Rangers. The winning goal for Rangers came from same Israel Abia in 70th minutes when he ran with the ball pass the Dakkada defence line and found back of the net to the admiration of few persons present at the Stadium. The Stadium was shot from spectators as part of hammer of the League Management Company following a trouble that ensued in the Stadium in a previous match.
Some tactical changes in the match was effected by Coach Salisu Yusuf from 72 minutes when Traore Issif replacing Ugochukwu Ugwuoke, Nnamdi Egbujuo replacing Chinonso Eziekwe and Kenechukwu Agu replacing Israel Abia. At 77th minutes, second yellow card was show to Tony Shimaga that resulted to red, bringing the Rangers players to 10 against Dakkada’s 11 till end of 90 minutes and additional 4 minutes.
Israel Abia having scored two goals in the match is now topping other goal scorers in Nigeria Professional Football League 2019/2020 Season. In an interview after the match, Israel dedicated the feat so far to his team mates who helped him achieve this and Rangers Management Corporation for the enabling opportunity given to him to play in the club.
Meanwhile, latest information from Nigeria Football Federation Communications Department reads, “NFF shuts down all football activities for four weeks”
The Nigeria Football Federation has announced the cessation of all forms of football activities in the country for the next four weeks, as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic.
According to the country’s supreme football governing body, the shutdown affects all on-field activities the various National Teams, the Nigeria Professional Football League, the other Leagues, youth football programmes and even street football.
President of the NFF, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick said the cessation will be for four weeks after which the situation will be reviewed in line with events and trends worldwide.
He also advised all members of the football family to observe the various safety precautions and conduct as advised by the Federal Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, such as hand-washing, the use of sanitizers and social distancing.
Pinnick also stated that the only football activity that will be permitted is the work of the NFF investigation committee into the death of Chineme Martins, which was inaugurated yesterday in Benin City and will submit its report within the next 10 days.