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Rangers Int'l FC stamps authority on title chase with emphatic 3-0 win

Posted : 27 May 2024

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The ‘Flying Antelopes’, Rangers International FC, on Sunday took the visiting Bayelsa United FC of Yenagoa to the cleaners with an emphatic 3-0 victory in a matchday 33 encounter of the 2023/2024 Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL).

The match was played before an appreciable number of fans inside Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu, on Sunday, May 26, 2024.

The wards of Fidelis Ilechukwu never allowed the visiting side, handled by coach Meremu Okara, to settle into their game as the attacking duo of Okorie Chiedozie and Godwin Obaje received numerous supplies from the midfield quartet lined up by coach Ilechukwu.

Despite dominating play, the Enugu side met stiff resistance from the backline of the Yenagoa-based team, with goalkeeper Elkanah Godgift making some brilliant saves to deny the home side several goal-scoring opportunities.

With the first half looking to end without a goal, Godwin Obaje tapped in the opener at 41 minutes off an Okorie Chiedozie assist after receiving a defense-splitting pass from Isaac Saviour and outrunning two defenders to provide an inch-perfect cross for the former league top scorer to score his 10th goal of the season and send the fans into wild jubilation.

In the second half, two quick goals in the 66th and 68th minutes by Godwin Obaje and Okorie Chiedozie ensured a complete demolition job and extinguished any hope of a fight-back from the visitors.

Isaac Saviour was again the architect of the second goal as his telegraphic cross-field pass found Obaje at the center-circle arc. He did well to power through some tackles to bury the ball beyond Godgift for his 11th goal of the season, while substitute Chidiebere Nwobodo provided the assist that Okorie finished to the delight of the home fans and supporters, which included music icon Flavour, Ijele 1 of Africa, in the VVIP stand.

With the victory, coach Fidelis Ilechukwu’s side maintained its top position with sixty points from 33 matches, having won 18, drawn 6, and lost 9, scoring 49 goals and conceding 31, while defending champions Enyimba are close in second spot with 56 points from the same number of matches.

Rangers coach, Fidelis Ilechukwu, said, “It was a good game with a good result from my boys. It would have been more embarrassing for our opponent had we been able to convert begging chances, but we keep working till the end of the season to ensure we realize our set target. Bayelsa United was challenging, but we came prepared for all of their antics and thank God for His grace as we won by a good margin. We shall approach our next set of matches like cup finals as the season is getting tougher every week.”

Rangers’ next opponent will be Sporting Lagos at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan, Lagos, on June 2, 2024.


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