Rangers head coach, Fidelis Ilechukwu had more satisfaction in their win against Heartland from the fact that they did not concede and which pushed them to the top of the log on superior goals difference.

The Flying Antelopes reclaimed their place at the summit of the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) after a Matchday 7 2-0 win against Heartland with a goal on either side of the half.

A Kazeem Ogunleye free kick from 25 yards left Heartland’s goalkeeper, Chisom Chiaha helpless just three minutes into the fixture at the Awka Township Stadium.

Ilechukwu in his post-match assessment of the encounter said it was very important that they won without conceding a goal.

He however praised the opponents for providing a tough contest in the famed Oriental Derby, describing the performance of both sides as good.

“It was a good game. Heartland did very well as a team as it was a Derby match”, remarked the Coach who three seasons ago called the instructions at Heartland.

Explaining the importance of keeping a clean sheet, Ilechukwu told the club media, “We tried our best and did not concede and that is the most important thing because I told the boys that we must play without conceding a goal so that we can come up on the table”.

While the Rangers Manager basked in the win, his counterpart, Christian Obi was philosophical about the outcome, noting that”in football, you expect one of three outcomes and today, we lost not for want of the effort to win”

He traced their defeat to the unexpected early goal and concluded, “We made some careless mistakes, especially in conceding the first goal. But it jolted my players to fight back but they could not convert our chances when created, hitting the woodwork twice. It was an unfortunate loss.”

Rangers now have 13 points from seven matches and would next be guests to Sunshine Stars in Akure on Matchday 8.

David NPFL
November 6, 2023
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