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Rangers Int'l FC players/coaches over the moon after maintaining top spot on 2023/2024 NPFL

Posted : 18 April 2024

The players and technical staff of Rangers International FC were over the moon as the club maintained the top spot in the 2023/2024 Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) after a Match Day 30 victory over Abia Warriors in the Oriental derby.

It was a disciplined display from coach Fidelis Ilechukwu's team as they fought gamely to halt the seeming dominance of their neighbors, Abia Warriors FC, in the encounter at Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu. The 'Flying Antelopes' secured a 3-2 victory.

The hosts took an early lead as Isaac Saviour's free kick from the edge of the box proved too hot to handle for Sharp Uzoigwe in the 6th minute. However, Abia Warriors increased the tempo in search of more goals.

In the 12th minute, the club's top scorer, Godwin Obaje, failed to convert from the spot as his effort hit the crossbar, much to the relief of the visitors. Despite more opportunities for players like Nwobodo Chidiebere, Godwin Obaje, and Kazeem Ogunlaye, they failed to increase the tally.

Abia Warriors restored parity in the second minute of added time in the first half when Sunday Megwo nodded home a cross from Meme Okike. Both teams went into halftime level.

Coach Ilechukwu made a double substitution at the start of the second half, bringing in Ugwueze Chinemerem and Okorie Chiedozie, which had an instant impact. Three minutes into the second half, Kazeem Ogunlaye curled in a free kick from the edge of the box to put Rangers back in the lead.

Okorie made his mark on 62 minutes by chipping the ball over the onrushing Uzoigwe after a defensive mix-up. Despite more scoring chances, poor finishing prevented Rangers from extending their lead until Pascal Nwabueze scored for Abia Warriors in added time.

Coach Fidelis Ilechukwu acknowledged the importance of the three points at this stage of the season but highlighted areas for improvement before the next fixture.

Isaac Saviour, Man of the Match, expressed his excitement at scoring against Abia Warriors and hoped to continue his scoring form.

With the victory, Rangers maintain their position at the top of the table with 54 points from 30 matches. They will face Rivers United in Port-Harcourt on Sunday, April 21, 2024.


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