Substitute, Chinonso Eziekwe’ lone strike on 83 minutes off an assist from debutant, Tony Elaigwu was all the ‘Flying Antelopes’, Rangers International F.C needed to annex the maximum points in a match day 15 NPFL fixture against Adamawa United at ‘The Cathedral’, Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium, Enugu on Sunday.
The visitors who were on a run of three matches without a loss were the first off the block as they took the battle to their opponent and had the first crack at goal on 10 minutes when Emmanuel Ibekwe was allowed space at the back but his effort failed to find target.
Coach Salisu Yusuf’ wards took the battle to the visitors half but countless missed opportunities by the forward liners meant the game witnessed only one goal even as the coach kept faith with the starting team that earned a 1-1 draw in Kaduna against Kano Pillars.
Christian Nnaji, Godspower Aniefiok and Chidiebere Nwobodo came close to registering their names on the score sheet at various times in the game but the day seemed to be their off day.
In the second half, the opportunities continued to be created but the profligacy continued in front of the goal even with goalkeeper, Friday Achumugu, well beaten in almost four instances.
With only ten minutes left on the clock, Rangers gaffer, Salisu Yusuf made a move that surprised the few stakeholders of the game inside the stadium as he threw in debutant, Eliagwu Tony for tiring Nwobodo and the move turned out to be an instant hit as the young star, in his second contribution to the game set up Chinonso Eziekwe with a gentle chip inside the box for the striker to stab home as wild celebration greeted the goal.
Coach Mbwas Mangut in a chat after the grueling encounter, said, “It was really a very difficult match and we really appreciate the players for defeating a difficult Adamawa United that came fighting all through the game but at the end of the day we got one goal out of the numerous chances created. We knew that Adamawa came here on a good run of three matches without a loss but we prepared for them and at the end, the three points is what matters.”
Goal scorer, Chinonso Eziekwe said, “I really thank God for today’ game and I am very happy to be the one that scored the goal that gave us the win over Adamawa United. Surely, it was a team goal and I dedicate the goal to the entire team and hope to continue doing my best in coming games as I am paid to score goals for Rangers.”
Rangers next travel to Katsina in North-West to engage Katsina United in a match day 16 fixture on Wednesday, March 17, 2021 inside Muhammed Dikko stadium, Katsina.
RANGERS TEAM: Nana Bonsu, Osas Okoro, Timothy Simon, Tony Shimaga, Uche John, Ernest Governor, Chiamaka Madu, Chidiebere Nwobodo (Tony Eliagwu -81st Min.), Godspower Aniefiok (Chinonso Eziekwe -46th Min.), Esor Achibong (Ifeanyi Okoro -64th Min.), Christian Nnaji (Kenechukwu Agu -64th Min.). SUBS NOT USED: Seidu Mutawakilu, Ebuka Anthony, Christian Madu, Shedrack Asiegbu.
Goal: Chinonso Eziekwe – 83rd Minute.