NPFL Matchdayw 21: Wasteful Rangers Loses At Home Against Rivers United
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By Ebube Dike
Unlike the previous match a derby against Enyimba where they scored two goals via penalties, Rangers International FC of Enugu on Sunday paid heavily for their profligacy after Rivers United pipped them 1-0 at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Bestchoicesports.com.ng can report.
The ‘Flying Antelopes’, Rangers are called shot itself on the foot as a sloppy piece of defending early in the match day 21 NPFL 2020/21 fixture inside ‘The Cathedral’, Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium, allowed former skipper, Godwin Aguda, enough space to practically walk the ball into a yawning net on 8 minute to surrender all three points to Rivers United.
Despite Coach Salisu making two changes to the team the best Enyimba, Rivers United have completed a double against the former champions with the first leg ending in same scoreline.
Coach Salisu Yusuf of Rangers stuck to the team that humbled Enyimba in a rescheduled fixture last week save for the duo of Chinonso Eziekwe and Chidiebere Nwobodo whose positions was taken by Ugochukwu Ugwuoke and Israel Abia but it was the visitors led by coach Stanley Eguma that settled faster to their strides with Esor Nelson, Shedrack Oghali and Godwin Aguda pulling the strings.
What looked like a harmless free kick from the edge of the box after Benin International, Charles Tiesso had fouled Aguda was blasted against the three man wall of defense but bounced kindly for Esor Nelson whose cross evaded a sea of legs to locate unmarked Godwin Aguda to stab home and send shock and silence around the arena.
Ugochukwu Ugwuoke had an opportunity to draw his side level on 28 minutes after his massy run took him past three markers but his effort inside the box failed to trouble Theophilus Afelokhai just as Sunday Adetunji threatened at the other end a minute later but Seidu Mutawakilu did well to deny him the opportunity.
The introduction of Ibrahim Olawoyin by coach Salisu helped in pushing the visitors back and he would have levelled the score on 34 minutes but for some stout defending from Ifeanyi Anaemena and Fabian Nworie.
The second stanza saw more attacking play from the ‘Flying Antelopes’ with the introduction of Felix Ogbuke, Daniel Vandaga and Elijah Ani but it was Ernest Governor’ glancing header on 55 minute that troubled the visitors’ backline while Vandaga could only watch as his hurriedly struck shot off a Bamba Bakary’ goal line clearance come off the body of Afelokhai who was sprawling on the ground on 86 minutes.
Rangers gaffer, Salisu Yusuf said after the home loss which is the first for Rivers United over Rangers in a long while, “It was really a bad day in the office. We conceded a very cheap goal early in the match and it really unsettled my players but we got back into the game, created some chances but could not convert. It was just destined to happen and we have to look forward with positive thoughts in coming matches.”