RANGERS STOPPED BY BAYELSA UNITED IN IJEBU-ODE
Six-time F.A/Federation Cup/Aiteo cup champions, Rangers International F.C will play no more part in this year’ edition as the ‘Flying Antelopes’ fell 0-1 to NNL side, Bayelsa United in a round of 32 fixtures that took place at the Dipo Dina stadium, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun state.
A defensive mix-up at the back by Rangers gave the coach Diepreye Teibowei tutored lads enough space to hit home the only goal of the encounter on 20 minutes as James Emo’ cut back was met by Beniangba Victory.
Coach Salisu Yusuf of Rangers had done a little reshuffling to the squad that lost in Ilorin over the weekend with Elijah Ani, Ugwuoke Ugochukwu, Chiamaka Madu and Dauda Madaki earning starts but it was the NNL side that settled quicker into the match.
The attacking duo of Rangers, Christian Nnaji and Elijah Ani did all the could but John Shaibu proved too stubborn between the sticks and the NNL side could have increased their lead on 39 minutes but for the quick recovery of Ernest Governor to clear the line with goalkeeper Nana Bonsu out of place.
A 50th and 60th minute save from Bonsu kept the Enugu side in the game while an inch perfect cross from Ifeanyi Nweke on 68 minutes could not be connect home as it crashed against the upright and bounced out to safety for the Yenagoa based side.
Late search for an equalizer by the Enugu side who introduced fresh legs like Godspower Aniefiok, Femi Ajayi, Daniel Vendaga and Shedrack Asiegbu failed to yield dividends as the 2018 Aiteo cup champions exit the oldest club football competition in the country.
Coach Salisu Yusuf said after the match, “We gave away too many chances in the game. We could have even scored three or four goals and we were organized at the back but that little slip gave them the opportunity to grab what turned out to be the winning goal. We wish them well as we now have to concentrate on the league.”