Rangers International Football Club of Enugu bounced back from her weekend 3-1 defeat by Sunshine Stars with a comfortable 3-0 win over Dakadda FC of Uyo, in the Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL, matchday 8 encounter at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu.
The visitors started the game in a bright note and nearly took the lead in the 15th minutes through Jesam Uket but his low shot went over the crossbar.
Rangers took the lead in the 24th minute through their talisman Israel Abia to break the deadlock with a powerful header inside the box following Rope Olusesi’s free kick close to 18 yard box to give Rangers a 1-0 lead.
Rangers Coach, Salisu Yusuf made an early change as he introduced Christian Nnaji and Ugochukwu Ugwuoke to replace Esor Archibong and Femi Ajayi in the 40th minutes as both players were struggling in the game.
Rangers continued to press on for another goal and finally got it as substitute, Christian Nnaji made it 2-0 after five minutes played in the second half and then scored his second goal of the game to secure all three points for the Flying Antelopes in the 90+1 minutes with a low strike outside the 18 yard box to make it 3-0 for Rangers as we move up to 5th position on 14 points from 8 matches.
Though Rangers also missed so many glaring opportunities in the match, less the goal difference could have been up to 6. Godspower Aniefiok was adjudged to be Man of the match. It could be remembered that it was Rangers loss 0 – 2 to same Dakkada that sacked Coach Surugede and his fellow Coaches, but in return leg at Uyo Rangers took her own pound of flesh by winning 3 – 2 against them.
ABIA WARRIORS 4-1 SUNSHINE STARS
It was a sigh of relief at the final whistle for Imama Amapakabo(former Rangers Coach) and Abia Warriors as they finally won a game in the 2020-21 NPFL season with a 4-1 mauling of Sunshine Stars at the Okigwe Township Stadium, Owerri on Wednesday under the watch of Coach Olugbenga Ogunbote(former Rangers Coach too).
The under pressure Caoach Amapakabo who was on the verge of being sacked following an embarrassing home defeat to Jigawa Golden Stars on matchday 4 and was issued a three-match ultimatum to turn things around, saw his team score four times against their opponent.
Since then, Imama has led his side on a four game unbeaten run culminating in the emphatic matchday 8 victory over Gbenga Ogunbote’s side which the former Super Eagles assistant coach would hope will serve as a turning point as they look to climb up the table.
Abia Warriors still have relegation worries despite the win but are now just one point from safety although they have played a game more than 17th placed Katsina United and 19th placed Heartland FC both of whom play Rivers United and FC Ifeanyi Uba respectively on Thursday.
The Abia Warlords will be hoping to continue with their unbeaten run as they take on Dakkada FC at the Nest of Champions on Sunday.
NPFL 2020-21 Matchday 8 Results
Nasarawa United 1-2 Enyimba
Adamawa united 0-1 Akwa United
Kano pillars 2-0 Jigawa Golden stars
Wikki Tourists 2-0 MFM FC
Kwara United 2-1 Lobi Stars
Abia Warriors 4-1 Sunshine Stars
Enugu Rangers 3-0 Dakkada FC
Warri Wolves 1-0 Plateau United
Next Rangers match is on Sunday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium again with visiting Warri Wolves of Delta State.