Rangers, MFM Taste Victory, Sunshine Stars Share Spoils With Heartland

By Daily sports on February 22, 2021

Views: 187

Hosts Rangers International Football Club of Enugu on Sunday defeated Kwara United of Ilorin 1-0 in a Match Day 11 fixture of the 2020/2021 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).

Chiamaka Madu, who captained Rangers International on the day, scored the only goal of the match from Isaac Loute’s well-weighted corner-kick in the 31st minute.

Earlier on in the match’s 18th minute, striker Christian Nnaji thought he had put the home team in front but the goal was disallowed.

Speaking after the match, Kwara United’s coach, Abdullahi Biffo, expressed dissatisfaction with the home team’s tactics.

“First of all, let me say congratulations to Rangers for the three points because we lost the match before the interval.

“We were intimidated by home team players as the centre referee allowed them to kick our players aggressively,” he said.

The coach posited that the day did not favour his team as the players created goalscoring chances but failed to score.

“We gave our all and created chances but it is not in every match that chances would be converted,” Biffo said.

Rangers’s coach, Salisu Yusuf, on his part praised Kwara United’s resilience during the match, saying the players matched his team toe to toe.

Yusuf added that he appreciated the three points in spite of the low scoreline.

“I only want my players to always replicate the zeal they showed in this match in our forthcoming matches in the league.”

The coach however pointed out that the team had been doing well both home and away, not minding that they have not been winning all their away matches.

“Apart from the match against Sunshine Stars FC, which we lost 1-3, other away matches have been either by a lone goal or a 2-1 scoreline,” he said.

Nnaji was however disconsolate on his disallowed goal, saying he was disappointed with the centre referee.

He nonetheless promised to keep delivering, even as he refused setting a goals target for himself in the season.

“I will keep it positive to ensure that the goals keep coming, but I cannot promise the number of goals to score this season,” Nnaji said.

With the win, Rangers moved a place up to fourth position on 20 points after 11 matches.

Kwara United remained atop the table on 21 points on the same number of matches

Elsewhere, Mountain of Fire and Miracles FC of Lagos on Sunday secured a 2-0 victory over visiting Adamawa United FC.

The match which took place at the Agege Township Stadium, Lagos, saw Adeyinka Najeem putting the hosts in front from a corner-kick in the 14th minute, while the second goal came through a long range shot outside the 18 yard box by Oladayo Alabi in the 24th minute.

Reacting, the Chief Coach of Adamawa United, Ibrahim Bello, said his players were affected by the robbery attack they had suffered on Saturday on their way to Lagos for the match.

“The robbery incident affected the players’ performance. They were very tired while playing. We will work hard to correct our short comings in the next match,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Assistant Coach of MFM, Gabriel Olalekan, while thanking God for the victory, said the players executed the team’s match plan excellently.

“I give thanks to God who helped us to win this match. The combination of prayers and playing to instructions by the players gave us victory.

“We talked to ourselves before the match. The players listened to me and did what I asked them to do. I expected more goals during the second half.

“We will have good performance henceforth. There have been challenges since I took over the team, but I assured Lagos fans, they should not worry, they should expect the best from us,” he assured.

Also, MFM Captain, Akani Elijah, said that there had been pressure on the team due to their position on the league table, thanking God for their victory over the visiting team.

“We talked to ourselves. We encouraged ourselves on the need for a good performance and points. We are happy for the victory.

“Our next match is away, by God’s grace, we will win the game. We missed a lot of scoring chances today. I expected us to scored more goals. I thank the fans for their supports. Let them continue to pray for us,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sunshine Stars Football Club and visiting Heartland FC of Owerri drew 1-1 at the Ondo State Sports Complex in Akure. Heartland’s captain, Pascal Eze, headed the visitors in front from a corner-kick in the 16th minute.

Sunshine Stars’ appeal for a penalty kick after an infringement against striker Sadeeq Yusuf was waved away by the referee in the 32nd minute.

Midfielder Ayo Adejubu also rattled the visiting goalkeeper with a fierce shot from outside the area in the 35th minute as the hosts fought back.

However, in the 70th minute, the visitors were penalised for handling the ball in the area, with Yusuf converting the penalty kick in the 71st minute.

Sunshine Stars’ Head Coach, Gbenga Ogunbote, said later that it was a game his team should not have drawn under normal circumstances.

“There is nothing we can do about it, and we will go back to work harder ahead of other games.

“Any where we have a level playing ground, I’m confident this team will get a positive result,” he said.

The Head Coach of Heartland FC, Fidelis Ilechukwu, on his part, said he was very happy his team had a good game.

“We are the better side in today’s game. Sunshine Stars were lucky to get a point today.

“We had a ban issue before the league, but we thank God we have come out of the ban. So, the new injection of new players into the team has been giving us positive results.

“I don’t want to put pressure on the team, but we will be approaching the games one after the other,” he said.

Sunshine Stars are 10th on the table with 15 points from 11 matches, while Heartland FC are 11th with 14 points.

•Based on NAN reports. PHOTO: NPFL action

Source Daily sports

Posted February 22, 2021


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