Enugu Rangers trashes high-flying Akwa United FC with a sweet victory at the home ground of the Akwa Ibom league champions.
Rangers ran away with three unreplied goals in the 13 March matchup of Martch-Day 18 of Nigeria Professional Football League played at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium Uyo.
The match started with Akwa on 27 points while Rangers was 28 points after both played 17 matches each. With only a point separating them, both teams played to win. A win will transport both teams to third position on the league table.
Akwa capitalized in her home advantage and Rangers on her recent deadly away form.
Akwa bombarded probed for goals in the first 20 minutes, while the Antelopes defended the attacks and pressure mounted on their 18 yard box.
But in the 21st minute, Rangers knocked at the post of Akwa United where the Camerounian Goalkeeper, Efala Jean, was in charge. Alas, Rangers Captain of the day, Kenechukwu Agu, could not convert the opportunity when he came face-to-face with the Goalkeeper.
In a swift counterattack, Wisdom Fernando of Akwa United also faced Rangers goal tender. Seidu Mutawakilu, who parried the ball for corner kick. The Ghanian International was at his best in the match, as he made so many saves for Rangers.
The two teams could not score in the first half.
Second half lucky
In second, however, Samuel Pam opened scoring for Rangers in the 55th minute with a mid-air volley from outside the box. Subsequently, Chidiebere Nwobodo increased the goal difference in 70 minutes while Shedrack Asiegbu made it a treble for Rangers, humiliating the home team, Akwa United.
Head Coach of Akwa United, Jerome Atume expressed shock at the loss.
“We created some chances, but could not score. The loss is a shock to us.
“Rangers is a team we know that dominate the midfield. We tried not to allow them, but the strength of their midfield is more than our own. We need to go and work on our finishing”.
Technical Adviser of Rangers, Abdu Maikaba, was magnanimous and a bit sad for his former Club.
“I am very happy about the result, but preferred it happened to another team, because Akwa United is still my team.
“This result should not deter them. I see a good team that needs time to jell”.
He agreed that the field of play contributed to the team success.
“Yes, I told my boys, any team that knows how to play football, can play here. We can’t talk about Ifeanyi Uba Stadium, if we can’t play here”.
With this victory, Rangers is now placed third on the League table with 31 points. It is far behind leaders Rivers United with 39 points and second-placed Plateau United with 38 points. Both have played 18 matches.
Rangers will be at Nnewi, their adopted homeground, on Sunday, 20 March for an encounter with Lobi Stars of Makurdi.
Rangers trashes Akwa United FC in Uyo