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2023/2024 NPFL Match Day 31: Loss against Rivers United FC, a bad day in office for me, says Rangers Int'l FC coach, Ilechukwu

Posted : 22 April 2024

The technical adviser of Rangers International F.C., Coach Fidelis Ilechukwu, described his side’s 2-0 loss to host Rivers United F.C. in a Matchday 31 NPFL 2023/2024 fixture played at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, Port Harcourt, as a bad day for his team.

Ilechukwu stated that the encounter between the two former league champions was a good game but the advantage of height enjoyed by his opponent and the nature of the pitch denied his wards the opportunity to play their usual free-flowing match.

“I think it was a great game, but it was not a good one for us. A terrible day. So many errors in the defensive line.

"Our opponent had the advantage of many tall players, which gave them a lot of advantages, and they deserved their win because they created a lot of chances against us, and that is football for you.

"Hope is not lost as we still believe in what we can achieve this season. We have to go back home and work more on our areas of challenges,” said the young tactician.

A goal in either half of the highly entertaining fixture saw the ‘Pride of Rivers’ annex the maximum points at stake as Alex Oyowah nodded home on 34 minutes off a cross from Kazie Enyinnaya, and Deputy Echeta sealed the win on 79 minutes after a quick interchange of passes.

The ‘Flying Antelopes’ started the encounter on a promising note with the quartet of Isaac Saviour, Kazeem Ogunleye, Ejike Ugochukwu, and Godwin Obaje pulling the strings in the early part of the match and could have taken the lead on seven minutes, but Ekerette Udom blocked out Obaje’s goal-bound shot.

As the half wore on, the host settled into their stride to draw a big save from Detan Ogundare on 12 minutes, while it was the turn of Sochima Victor in goal for the home side to beat out Kazeem Ogunleye's fierce shot at the quarter-hour mark.

Left-back Kenneth Igboke put up a good show on the day with his fine runs down the flank and would have leveled the score for the Enugu side at 41 minutes if his shot was not cleared, but it found its way into the net by Kazie Enyinnaya as the teams retired to the locker room after the first stanza.

In the second stanza, all efforts put in to grab an equalizer by the visitors failed to yield a dividend as the home side used the intimidating sizes of its players to good effect. The Enugu side resorted to taking aims with long-range efforts that failed to trouble the backline of the home side except for Chukwudi Nwaodu and Kingsley Maduforo's speculative shots on 85 and 89 minutes that were pushed out by the goalkeeper.

Despite the loss, Rangers maintain their hold at the top of the twenty-team log with 54 points and will next play Plateau United on Sunday, April 28, 2024, inside Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu.


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