A 60th-minute penalty goal converted by Tochukwu Michael for host, Nasarawa United, condemned the ‘Flying Antelopes’, Rangers International F.C to another defeat on the road in a match day 33, NPFL 2021/2022 season played inside New Jos Stadium, Sunday, June 12, 2022.
The referee had adjudged that player, Aliyu Abdullahi of the ‘Solid Miners’ was fouled inside the box and awarded what looked like a soft call and in the aftermath of the call, Rangers’ defender, David Chimezie was shown the red card to reduce the strength of the visiting side.
Despite going down by a goal and a man, the coach Abdul Maikaba tutored side took the fight to the host with the attacking duo of Israel Abia and Ossy Martins probing for openings that were easily snuffed out by the duo of Victor Collins and Manga Mohammed while goalkeeper, Ameh Godwin was alert to his duties to punch out an Eso Achibong’ free kick on 78 minutes.
The hosts were the quicker off the block in this encounter with Chinedu Ohanachom, Sunday Okereke, and Tochukwu Michael leading the assault but met stiff resistance from David Chimezie and Olawale Doyeni in the heart of the visitors’ defense as the trio of Shedrack Asiegbu, Eso Achibong, and Tofik Omar were at their best in the middle of the pack.
Opportunities were very scarce for either side but Asiegbu could have shot the visitors in front on the stroke of half time but his well-taken shot from the edge of the box was well-read by Ameh Godwin while Ohanachom Chinedu drilled his effort wide at the other end after he was left with much space.
Coach Abdul Maikaba said after the encounter, “My boys played very well today but for some calls made by the referee, we should have earned a better result. The referee made it look like we had two separate rules for the two sides in the encounter. Sure, it is a setback but we hope to keep fighting till the end of the season as we believe that our target will be achieved.”
Despite the loss, Rangers still occupy the 3rd spot on the log with 51 points while Enyimba is in hot pursuit of 4th position with the same number of points after they demolished Kwara United 3-0 in an earlier fixture today.
Rangers will next play Rivers United in a matchday 34 fixture at their adopted, Awka City Stadium later this weekend.
RANGERS TEAM: Bamidele Adeniyi, Tope Olusesi, Bala Akintunde, Tofic Omar (Charles Tiesso -87th Min.), David Chimezie, Olawale Doyeni, Chidiebere Nwobodo (Moses Effiong -78th Min.), Eso Achibong, Christian Nnaji (Ossy Martins -78th Min.), Israel Abia, Shedrack Asiegbu (Ernest Governor -61st Min.). UNUSED SUBS: Nana Bonsu, Philip Clement, Samuel Pam.