NPFL: Rangers maintain unbeaten run in Jos

NPFL By: Ambrose Udeme | 06/05/2018

Former NPFL champions Rangers of Enugu on Sunday inside the New Jos stadium extended their unbeaten run in the 2017/2018 season with a well deserved 1-1 draw against Wikki Tourists FC.

Playing a compact 4-5-1 formation that saw newly acquired Christian Pyagbara leading the attack for the coach Olugbenga Ogunbote’ men with Kelvin Itoya, Godwin Aguda, Solomon Okpako and Tope Olusesi anchoring the midfield for the visitors.

As soon as the referee signalled the start of hostilities, the host took the battle to the ‘Flying Antelopes’ with Shammah Tanze, Usman Manu, Abubakar Umar and Victor Alegbe pilling the pressure but met stiff resistance from the backline of Rangers ably marshalled by Senegalese Pape Ousmane and captain, Okey Odita.

The host made the early pressure count as some hesitant defending by Rangers backline gave Usman Manu enough room to react and shoot into a yawning net for the opening goal of the match at the quarter hour mark to send the few travelling fans from Bauchi a moment to celebrate.

But this goal rather than dampen the fighting spirit of Rangers brought out the best in them as Christian Madu stamped his authority in the middle of the pack dictating the flow of the game and on 35 minutes, Tope Olusesi reacted the quickest to slam home a powerful volley past the groping hands of Pius Ibrahim after Isaac Loute floated an inch-perfect cross.

As the game wore on Chidera Eze had a golden opportunity to shoot the visitors into the lead on 38 minutes but his heavily weighted shot from an acute angle missed the target by a few inches to the reprieve of the host’ bench.

When the second half resumed, the host showed more hunger for goals but tried as they did, Rangers players sat back and absolved the pressures while venturing forward a few times with Kelvin Itoya looking to catch the host on a counter.

Former Super Eagles attacking sensation, Uche Nwofor who came on as a 75th-minute substitute for fellow debutant, Pyagbara did create an opportunity for himself on 78 minutes as he dribbled his marker and fired a volley that beat Pius Ibrahim but not the crossbar.