A 42nd minute glancing header from Sikiru Alimi off an inch perfect cross from Stanley Okorom ensured that visiting Rangers International F.C of Enugu surrendered all three points at stake to Remo Stars F.C of Ikenne-Remo in a match day 28, NPFL 2021/2022 fixture.
The hotly contested fixture took place inside Remo Stars Stadium, Ikenne-Remo, Ogun state on Sunday, May 15, 2022 had former coach of Rangers, Olugbenga Ogunbote led boys taking the battle to the half of their more experienced guests with the trio of Dayo Ojo, Andy Okpe and Nduka Junior pulling the strings.
Despite their dominance, the home side could not find a way past the well knitted pattern of coach Abdul Maikaba who could have taken the lead on two occasions when top scorer for the ‘Flying Antelopes’, Ossy Martins, was released by a Chukwuebuka Okorie’ intelligent pass but host’ defense line cleared their line before any damage could be done while he was professionally brought down inside the box by goalkeeper, Bankole Kayode, after he was exposed and shouts for a penalty call by a large number of spectators in the stands was waved off by the arbiter at the half hour mark.
With the game approaching the end of the first stanza, hesitant defending by the visitor’s backline gifted rampaging attacking sensation, Sikiru Alimi enough time to steal in front of a defender to plant his head at an inviting cross from Stanley Okorom to nod past impressive, Seidu Mutawakilu, for what turned out to be the only goal of the encounter on 42 minutes.
Stunned as they were, the visitors took the game to the host with the introduction of some fresh legs as the second stanza crept on but could not find a way past the backline of the Ikenne side ably marshalled by lanky Isah Ali but in added time, substitute, Samuel Pam dribbled his way past his markers to release a shot that was pushed out by Bankole Kayode while Elijah Ani and Eso Achibong both failed to connect home the spilled ball.
Coach Abdul Maikaba in his post-match reactions, said, “This was not the result we came here for but lost this match because some of my players lost concentration during the game. Remo Stars played well and deserve their win. They are a good side but we still have some games to bridge the gap between us and those ahead of us. We can still achieve our set target at the end of the season.”
With the loss, Rangers drops to the 4th place on the log with 45 points from 28 matches and will next play Dakkada F.C in a match day 29 fixture at the Awka City stadium.