An 82nd-minute penalty kick converted by a substitute, Musa Wakili, and an earlier strike by Segun Alebiosu in the 34th minute which sandwiched Kenechukwu Agu’s equalizer on 55 minutes helped the home side, Niger Tornadoes F.C stop visiting Rangers International F.C 2-1 in a matchday 24, NPFL 2021/2022 fixture.
The encounter which happened inside the main bowl of Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna saw the host getting off to a quick start with Segun Alebiosu, Chinedu Ufere, and Ocheme Edoh pushing for early goals but were rebuffed by the backline of Rangers anchored by Uche John and Ebuka Anthony.
However, it was the visitors that had the first sniff at goal when Elijah Ani wriggled his way past two opponents to blast a stinging shot that was bravely punched out by goalkeeper, Lucky Abdullahi on 6 minutes.
A little loss of concentration at the back for the visitors, occasioned by an injury to Bala Akintunde, allowed Alebiosu enough space to blast his effort past Seidu Mutawakilu as the encounter crept past the half-hour mark to send the supporters of the home side into jubilation.
As the second stanza commenced, the ‘Flying Antelopes’ swooped on their host and were rewarded with the equalizer on 55 minutes as Kenechukwu Agu masterfully stroked the ball into the net after he was set up by enterprising, Elijah Ani.
Christian Madu was adjudged to have fouled an opponent inside the box and the referee awarded a spot-kick to the home side which was expertly converted by Musa Wakili for what turned out to be the match-winner.
Coach Abdul Maikaba after the encounter said, “It was a good match but sadly, we lost it. Our opponents showed much hunger just as we came here with a plan to earn at least a draw. We still have enough time to get back to our winning ways and achieve our set target at the start of the season.”
With the result, Rangers drop to the 4th spot on the log with 38 points from 24 matches and will next play against Kwara United in a matchday 25 fixture at the Awka City Stadium on Sunday, April 24, 2022.
RANGERS TEAM: Seidu Mutawakilu, Ifeanyi Nweke, Bala Akintunde (Olawale Doyeni -34th Min.), Christian Madu, Uche John, Ebuka Anthony, Chukwuebuka Okorie (Samuel Pam -72nd Min.), Kenechukwu Agu, Shedrack Asiegbu, Elijah Ani (Christian Nnaji – 87th Min.), Ossy Martins. UNUSED SUBS: Nana Bonsu, Philip Clement, David Chimezie, Chidiebere Nwobodo, Ejike Uzoenyi.