Rangers grab maximum points in Gombe

A determined display from the wards of coach Fidelis Ilechukwu ensured that the ‘Flying Antelopes’, Rangers International F.C put high flying, ‘Savannah Tigers’, Doma United F.C to the sword as they ran away with a 1-0 victory in a match day 21, NPFL 2023/2024 encounter inside Pantami Stadium, Gombe.

Chinemerem Ugwueze squeezed in the all-important goal at the half-hour mark after being set up by Chidiebere Nwobodo who breezed past two markers before laying an inch-perfect pass that was met with decisive precision which Kingdom Osayi, in between the post for the home side had no answer to.

The coach Akinade Onigbinde wards had started the encounter on a stronger footing with Solomon Jesam, Hilary Ekawu, Samuel Enefiok, and Charles Thaddeus pulling the strings but met a resolute defense line put in place by the visitors with Opara Austin and Onyebuchi Ifeanyi in the heart of the defense.

As the game progressed, the Rangers’ forward line led by the trio of Godwin Obaje, Chidiebere Nwobodo, and Kazeem Ogunleye turned the screw on the host with Zulkifilu Rabiu and Chinemerem Ugwueze providing the assist from the middle of the pack.

Chidiebere Nwobodo had another golden opportunity to punish the home side on 34 minutes further but his effort crashed against the upright and bounced out to safety to the great relief of the capacity-filled stadium.

The home side came back for the second stanza much stronger. Still, all their efforts could not turn into goals especially in 71 minutes when they hit the crossbar just as there were further opportunities for the visiting team to harvest more goals off the boots of Godwin Obaje and Chukwudi Nwaodu in 68 and 89 minutes.

In his post-match chat, coach Fidelis Ilechukwu said, “We thank God for the victory. It was a vital game and win for us just like I said in other forums the second stanza would be tough and anything can happen. This one has come and gone, we have a big game on Wednesday against a team we are looking up to as the next champion of the Nigeria league, so, we are not celebrating too much. Doma United is a very solid and stubborn team with a good coach but in football, anything can happen. For now, we are focused on the visit of Remo Stars to Enugu on Wednesday.”

With their first full points on the road, Rangers now occupy the 4th spot on the log with 34 points from twenty-one matches pending the results from Kano and Jos on Sunday and will be trading tackles with table-topping side, Remo Stars in a match day 22 fixture on Wednesday, February 28, 2023, inside the main bowl of Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu.


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