The ‘Flying Antelopes’, Rangers International F.C, annexed all three points at stake in a match day 3, NPFL re-scheduled fixture against visiting Sunshine Stars F.C of Akure with Gabriel Olalekan’s own-goal on 25 minutes separating both sides.
Both sides had started the encounter on a cautions note with the host’ quartet upfront, led by Ifeanyi George doing all it can to breach the Seun Sogbeso led backline of the ‘Owena Waves’ with little success.
As the game got past the quarter-hour mark, Rangers got more dangerous upfront but there was no beating Ayo Ojo who stood like a rock of Gilberetta between the sticks to punch, parry and block shots aimed at his goal.
Within two minutes, 23 and 24 minutes the agile shot stopper reacted well to beat out a Chiamaka Madu well struck shot while Ifeanyi George watched in awe as his firm shot hit the upright after skidding past three defenders.
On 25 minutes, Gabriel Olalekan turned in an Ajani Ibrahim cross into his own net for the only goal of the encounter to hand Rangers all three points at stake.
Pint-sized, Faud Ekelojuoti could have draw the visitors level few minutes later but Nana Bonsu was alive to his duties while Bright Silas thought he had increased the lead for the host on 40 minutes as he latched onto an Ifeanyi George’ back hilled pass but Ayo Ojo reacted well to block it out.
If the first stanza belonged to Rangers, the second was for the visitors who fought hard to draw level with Isreal Abia, Michael Egbeta and substitute, Chibundu Amah making positive impacts but the host’ backline anchored around Pape Ousmane and Isiaka Oladuntoye stood their ground to snuff out any danger that came the way of Ghanaian shot stopper, Nana Bonsu, and secured the maximum points at stake to take the Enugu side to the 7th position with 12 points from five matches.
Speaking after the match, Rangers coach, Olugbenga Ogunbote said that what mattered in matches was victory but expressed dissatisfaction over his team’s failure to convert chances.
”We are growing with games and our undoing in matches is our failures to finish well and we are not relaxing about it.
”The strikers will be worked on because the league gets tougher as it progresses and whenever we get our striker scoring freely, the sky will be our limit.
”Rangers is a household club in the country and each club that come to Enugu always want to prove a point.
In his remarks, Sunshine Stars’ captain, Sunday Abe said that they came for victory and noted that they were disappointed not to have come out of the match with something positive.
”Well, that is football, sometimes your game plan works for you and sometimes it fails you and you have to move on.
”Football is all about win, draw or loss and today we are at the end side of it and tomorrow we may be the one to smile,” he said.
The captain said that they were going back to the drawing board to correct their mistakes and ensured they got a positive result in Aba against Enyimba FC on Sunday.
”We will keep fighting until we get to where we want to be because it is the wish of all the clubs to finish well,” Abe said.
Rangers would next play Remo Stars in a match day 12 fixture inside the main bowl of Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium, Enugu on Sunday, March 24, 2019.