Rangers adds to Heartland woes in Owerri

Sobenna Nwagbo witnesses a 3-0 demolition as Enugu Rangers adds to Heartland financial woes in their Owerri home ground

Enugu Rangers FC yesterday 21 January thrashed hapless Heartland FC of Owerri 3-0 at their Dan Ayiam Stadium Owerri home ground.

The Matchday 7 of the 2021/2022 Oriental derby unfortunately ended badly for the Naze warriors currently battling with financial challenges.

Heartland came to the match on the back of protests over unpaid salaries and was a shadow of their old squad.

With the result, Rangers became the first club to defeat the Naze Millions by 3-0 scoreline in six years.

The team similarly suffered a humiliating defeat on 3 May 2015 in the hands of Akure Sunshine Stars.

Julius Ikechukwu delivered the first blow from a 26 minutes strike. Thereafter, Christian Nnaji’s thunderous strike from 18 yard box in 55 minutes drove the wounds deeper. Finally, Shedrack Asiegbu’s capped the win with another strike in the 84th minute.

The goals

Julius Ikechukwu opened scoring for Rangers from tee off by substitute Chidiebere Nwobodo who came on three minutes earlier.

Nwobodo replaced Super Eagles winger and 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON winner, Ejike Uzoenyi. Ejike suffered injury in the 23rd minute of the match.

Heartland responded in the 39th minute and almost got an equaliser with an Ikenna Stephen’s expertly struck free kick. The 30-yards strike however kissed the crossbar with goalkeeper Bamidele Adeyeni already displaced.

Heartland’s misery worsened when Jimoh Gbadamosi received a second yellow card. He handled the ball in a desperate attempt to score and was marched out in the 61st minute.

Rangers thereafter made their numerical strength count. Shedrack Asiegbu who came on nine minutes earlier finished off a sweeping counter-attacking move from Elijah Ani and Christian Nnaji.

The final goal gave Rangers a comfortable lead on the dot of 84 minutes.

Rangers returns to third place on the league table, behind Remo Stars (17 points) and Rivers United (15).

Rangers is on 14 points from seven matches played so far.

Next week Wednesday, Rangers returns to their temporary home – FC Ifeanyi Stadium Nnewi – for the next match.

The Flying Antelopes handed out a 2-0 defeat to MFM Football Club at Nnewi on 16 January.

The pitch of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu is currently undergoing a facelift.

Rangers adds to Heartland woes in Owerri