Saturday, March 22, 2014

Rangers edge Pillars in big clash

Enugu Rangers defeated Glo Premier League champions, Kano Pillars, 2-1 at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium on Saturday.

The Flying Antelopes claimed their 11th win in 23 head-to-head meetings in the Premier League era over Kano Pillars.

Kano Pillars head coach, Okey Emordi, surprisingly opted to start Rabiu Ali and Bello Musa Kofarmata from the bench while Kabiru Umar passed a late fitness test to start upfront in the absence of Gambo Muhammad.

As expected Rangers head coach, John Obuh, listed Ejike Uzoenyi and Ugonna Uzochukwu among his starters while Christian Obiozor began from the bench with former 3SC man, Christian Osaguona preferred as the main striker.

It took Rangers just eight minutes to go ahead through Emeka Eze's pile-driver from 25 yards leaving Kano Pillars goalkeeper and captain, Theophilus Afelokhai beaten.

Rangers continued to dominate possession ahead of Pillars, who were forced to make two substitutions owing to injuries that led to Rabiu Ali and Ado Ali coming on for Abdullahi Shehu and Kingsley Udoh respectively.

On 31 minutes, Umar improvised well to head Kano Pillars back into the game from an unmarked position from a dead-ball situation.

In the space of two minutes, Rangers got to the other end and deservedly won a penalty after a goal-bound Rasaq Adegbite was tripped by Eneji Otekpa in the box.

Eze stepped up in a bid to score his second of the afternoon but his lame shot was palmed away by Afelokhai on 34 minutes.

Rangers, however, finished the first half on a high with Osaguona scoring the goal that turned out to be the winner after a superb passing move.

Uzoenyi passed the ball from the left channel to Eze who rolled it into Osaguona's path, and the lanky forward quickly changed pace to cut inside of his marker and fired in on the turn for the winner.

The second half proved elementary though Rangers should have scored a third or even a fourth but for the poor finishing of Obiozor and Osaguona.

Glo Premier League newcomer, FC Taraba notched up their second win of the season by defeating El-Kanemi Warriors by a goal.

Luther Iyorhe's strike on 76 minutes sealed the points for the Taraba club in a tight contest on Saturday.

It was Iyorhe's second goal of the season and he is now tied as leading scorer with Akwa United captain, Nnamso Edo.

FC Taraba temporarily go top of the standings in the premier division till Sunday when Akwa United take on Kaduna United.

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