NPFL: Rangers Dethrone MFM FC from Summit of Group A

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Rangers’ Solomon Okpako and Akpos Adubi challenging Ebenezer Odeyemi of Kwara United during the rescheduled Match-day 6 clash in Ilorin

Duro Ikhazuagbe

Rangers International defeated Kwara United 2-1 Wednesday in a rescheduled Match-day 6 in Ilorin to go on top of Group A of the 2018/19 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL). The Enugu landlords now have 24 points from 11 matches.

The Flying Antelopes, who are now one point ahead of the Lagos side, still have three outstanding matches – one at home against defending champions Lobi Stars, and the other two versus Rivers United and Bendel Insurance.

MFM will further go down if Lobi Stars triumph over Sunshine Stars in a rescheduled match in Akure today.

Two goals within three minutes through Ifeanyi George’s in the 25th minute and Godwin Aguda gave Rangers a two-goal lead at the interval.

But Ebenezer Odeyemi reduces the tally in the 65th minute, capitalising on a defensive slip.

Rangers however hold their nerves till the final whistle to run out of the Kwara State capital with maximum three points in the kitty.

The AITEO Federation Cup champions have been on a steady rise in the domestic league since exiting the continent CAF Confederation Cup tournament last month, chalking up valuable points at home and on the road that have now seen the ‘Oriental Landlords’ move up the Group A log to the top even with three outstanding games to spare.

Ifeanyi Egwim, the attacking sensation of Rangers who fractured his leg in the last match of the trophy winning squad of 2016 got few minutes appearance.

He was full of praises for the Enugu State government, management and coaches of Rangers for his treatment and rehabilitation.

“This was a very emotional moment for me. To be back on the pitch playing competitive football after over two years on the treatment table, is very emotional and I thank everybody that made it happen and above all I thank God for His grace in today’s match where we earned our first victory on away soil.”

Also speaking on the victory, Coach Olugbenga Ogunbote said: “We give God all the glory for this first victory on the road. I equally commend my players for their doggedness and determination shown during the match while also thanking the government of Enugu State as well as management and supporters of the club for their belief in what we are doing.

“It was not an easy match as our opponent came all out in the second half but we showed maturity to contain them,” observed the coach.

Ogunbote however stressed that Rangers was now on course despite the slow start to the season. “Our target at the start of the season is on cause as we aim for a top three finish and finish well at the end of the season top six play-off.”