By Ikenna Nwokedi

Rangers International on Sunday defeated Niger Tornadoes 2-1 in one of the Matchday 3 fixtures of the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) played at the Awka City Stadium, Anambra State.

The Flying Antelopes took a deserved lead in the 17th minute courtesy of a Joel Odoh’s headed effort from Kazeem Ogunleye’s free kick after Chidiebere Nwobodo was brought down close to the box by Idris Saidu.

Striker Godwin Obaje doubled the lead for Rangers just before the break with a clinical finish as he befuddled Tornadoes’ goalkeeper Joshua Enaholo to score.

The Ikon Allah brought the game back to life through Bashir Usman’s brilliant solo effort and a belter which was initially parried out by Rangers goalkeeper Japheth Opubo with Usman poking home the rebound into the bottom left corner of the post.

Both sides kept their composure towards a nervy ending as the Flying Antelopes ran away victorious in the clash.

Reacting to the result, Rangers assistant coach, Ali Suleiman Obinna, expressed his delight with the performance and the resilience shown by his charges to take all the points available in the fixture.

“We thank God for the win which was a result of discipline, dedication and resilience displayed by the boys today. We will work on areas we didn’t get right and hopefully correct it in our next match.

“I commend Niger Tornadoes for the performance, looking at the head-to-head record between us, we have won one and drawn two so we knew it wasn’t going to be an easy game but we are delighted we got the deserved win today,” said Suleiman.

On his part, Tornadoes head coach Hamza Abara commended his boys for the display which he said did not reflect the scoreline. The gaffer said they will go back home and work on their finishing and ensure they put up a better performance in subsequent outings.

Match details

Rangers XI: Japhet Opubo, Joel Odoh, Philip Clement, David Chimezie, Ifeanyi Onyebuchi, Chinaecherem Collins (Chiedozie Okorie – 77′), Kazeem Ogunleye, Chukwudi Nwaodu (Naziru Auwalu – 65′), Saviour Isaac, Godwin Obaje (Ugochukwu Ejike – 77′), Chidiebere Nwobodo.

Unused substitutes: Henry Onyia, Barnabas Ingya, Ifeanyi Ogba, Jonas Emmanuel, Kelechi Edeh, Emeka Onyia.

Niger Tornadoes XI: Joshua Enaholo, Abba Khalid, Idris Saidu, Bolaji Adeyemo, Sylvester Bell (Abiodun Adebayo – 61′), Alex Emeka, Sadiq Isyaka (Clinton Jepta – 61′), Moses Ugwu (Mohammed Hussaini – 67′), Najere Musa (Samuel Adeniyi – 9′) Ifeanyi Okoye – 14, Bashir Usman (Aliyu Manuga Farouk).

Unused substitutes: Mustapha Aliko, Samuel Tswanya, Sadiq Razak, Innocent Awori.

David NPFL
October 15, 2023
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