Rangers pip Abia Warriors to go top

By Daily Sports on July 9, 2016

Views: 2,760

Enugu Rangers moved to the top of the Nigeria Professional Football (NPFL) standings after recording a 2-1 win over Abia Warriors on Friday.

The Warriors from Umuahia had the chance to take a shock early lead after Bolaji Sakin fortuitously played in Michael Olaha whose low shot was blocked at the opportune moment.

It was however Rangers that eventually took the lead in the 15th minute through Obinna Nwobodo at a frenzied Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu.

Nwobodo made the most of a Chima Uluocha error, dispossessed the defender of the ball before beating the Abia Warriors goalkeeper, John Gaadi at his near post.

The Flying Antelopes increased their lead in the 35th minute through Chisom Egbuchulam who coolly converted a penalty, sending Gaadi the wrong way, after Austin Obaroakpo was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area.

Rangers continued to probe and almost got a third goal in the first minute of first half added time through Bobby Clement whose half volley off an Etim Matthew cross came off the post.

The Warriors looked a rejuvenated side after the break and should have hurled themselves back into the contest in the 48th minute.

Exemplary work by Sakin on the right flank freed Chisom Chikatara but the fearsome striker somehow failed to connect from close range when it seemed easier to score.

Chikatara got his bearings right on the hour, firing a loose ball goal wards from close range only to see his effort beaten away for a corner by the Rangers goalkeeper, Nana Bonsu.

Bonsu was required to make a routine save off substitute, Shedrack Asiegbu’s strike a minute later as the visitors cranked up the pressure.

The Warriors eventually got just reward for consistent attacks as Olaha fired in powerfully after he was deftly played through by substitute, Ifeanyi Onyeali in the 89th minute.

Abia Warriors were extremely unfortunate not to pinch a point at the death as Olaha’s fierce strike from eight yards struck the cross bar after the Rangers defence failed to clear their lines.

Olaha’s strike represented the last kick of the game as Rangers gratefully held out for the win.

The victory means that Rangers have now moved to the summit of the NPFL standings with 43 points 25 matches while Abia Warriors remain in 13th place with 32 points from 25 matches.

•Culled from superspots.com.

Source Daily Sports

Posted July 9, 2016


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