20
Wed, Sep

Rangers leave relegation zone after 1-0 win over Plateau United By China Acheru

Football
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Daniel Etor struck in the 22nd minute to give Rangers the lead and what turned out to be the only goal of their game against Plateau United, a rescheduled Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Matchday 14 fixture.

 

The win took Rangers to 22 points and 16th on the table from 19th where they languished before now.

 

Rangers started the game fast paced, immediately pegging back the league leaders but had profligacy to blame for not scoring when they should have.

 

In the 8th minute of the encounter, Rangers’ appeal for a penalty was turned down but seven minutes later they were awarded one after Chidera Eze was fouled in the box.

 

However, Chibuzor Madu’s tame effort was stopped by the legs of goalkeeper, Dele Ajiboye.

 

In spite of that mishap, Rangers continued to pile the pressure and Daniel Etor scored in the 22nd minute stretching his leg to connect a cross that beat the keeper.

 

Plateau United began to show more hunger after that goal attacking on the counter and causing tense moments for the home side and fans.

 

In the 26th minute Jimmy Ambrose found space and shot from distance but it was saved by Seidu Mutawakilu.

 

Plateau soon had another chance to equalise in the 31st minute when a trade mark long throw-in by Daniel Itodo lurked in the Rangers area.

 

Joshua Obaje’s header first ricocheted off the cross bar before Kabiru Umar blasted the rebound wide.

 

Three minutes later, it was Plateau United again on the prowl as Christian Madu mis-kicked a long ball, but Kabiru Umar who pounced on the loose ball did not get the right curve to trouble goalkeeper, Mutawakilu.

 

Just before half time, Rangers’ new boy, Ifeanyi George had an effort on target but it was tame and Dele Ajiboye saved it gratefully.

 

At the start of the second period, Plateau United continued to torment Rangers, especially through Daniel Itodo and his long throw-ins.

 

Just one minute after the restart, a throw-in by Itodo bounced off an attacker's head and had to be tipped over for a corner by Mutawakilu.

 

Ifeanyi George had a chance in the 57th minute but after beating onrushing Ajiboye, he shot wide.

 

In a quick counter, one minute later, Sunday Ingbede had a free header in the box but his effort went over the goalkeeper and off target.

 

Plateau United did not relent. Elisha Golbe had a pop at goal in the 63rd minute but his free kick went inches wide.

 

With a little more than an hour played in the game, Plateau United’s gaffer, Kennedy Boboye made two quick changes, taking off Kabiru Umar for Emeka Umeh in the 68th minute and Sunday Ingbede for John Kim in the 69th.

 

In the 73rd minute, John Kim escaped his marker shot at goal but it was saved by the Rangers goalkeeper, Seidu Mutawakilu.

 

As if a cue to make the final change, Boboye threw on Mafeng Pam for Emmanuel Olowo in the 75th minute and it continued to seem like the next goal would come from Plateau United.

 

With 12 minutes of regular time left on the clock, Rangers coach, Chukwuma Agbo replaced Chiamaka Madu with Godwin Aguda and four minutes later took out Daniel Etor for Obinna Nwobodo.

 

With time running down on the clock and tired legs falling all over, Chidera Eze found space behind his marker but shot wide.

 

A minute later in the 84th, it was Ifeanyi George joining the fray but his shot also went wide.

 

Agbo replaced Chidera Eze with home grown striker, Ebuka Okeke and with three minutes of added time shown, Emeka Umeh thought he saw enough space to try for an equalizer.

 

His shot from distance was easily saved by the goalkeeper.

 

Kennedy Boboye was not happy at the loss as he told npfl.ng.

 

“My boys did not do badly and we could have won if only we converted the chances we got in the game,” Boboye told NPFL.ng.

 

"We came here to win and we played well too but we lost this game by ourselves because Rangers were not better than us.

 

“We had a chance to equalise just after we conceded but we hit the crossbar. We will just go back to the drawing board,” Boboye said.

 

Rangers’ goalscorer, Daniel Etor told npfl.ng that it was a happy moment because of the tension in the team.

 

“It was a much needed three points and we are out of the relegation zone so it’s now time to continue winning matches to get our confidence back.

 

“With these three straight wins at home it is a warning to other clubs that they can no longer come here and pick points,” Etor said.

 

Teams

 

Plateau United: Ajiboye, James, Itodo, Junior, Olowo/Pam 75’, Ambrose, Elisha, Bitrus, Obaje, Ingbede/ Kim 69’, Umar/Umeh 68’

 

Subs not used: Gaadi, Johnson, Bala, Elijah

 

Rangers: Mutawakilu, Etim, Christian, Chiamaka/Aguda 78’, Chibuzor, Ousmane, Okoro, George, Etor/Nwobodo 83’, Eze/Ebuka 90+', Silas

 

Subs not used: Akpan, Odita, Osamudiamen, Amaefule

 

Match Statistics

Rangers 1-0 Plateau United

Shots at goal: 10:8

Shot on Target: 5:3

Fouls committed: 13:20

Corner kicks: 6:4

Offsides: 2:4

 

Man Of the match: Daniel Etor (Rangers)

Attendance: 3,892

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