Rangers International of Enugu for the first in the league this season suffered back to back losses after going down to Rivers United in the Nigeria Professional Football League rescheduled match on Thursday.
The Pride of Rivers welcomed the Flying Antelopes to the Yakubu Gowon Stadium in the Port Harcourt and produced their most impressive display of the season as they dominated the injury ravaged Gbenga Ogunbote’s side .
The visitors were without their first choice full backs Tope Olusesi and Isaac Loute, central defender Ugwu Uwadiegwu, Isiaka Oladunjoye, Akpos Adubi as well as attackers Ifeanyi George and Pascal Seka all through injury bar the latter who just had his redcard rescinded late on Wednesday night.
Rangers almost took the lead in the 5th minute after some good work from Emeka Ayogueke making his full league debut for the Flying Antelopes but Godwin Aguda’s effort was cleared off the line by Odunlami with goalkeeper Abiodun Akande beaten.
Rangers once again had a chance two minutes later with Ayogu ekeat the centre of it but Adun Osamudiamen should have done betterwhile shooting over from 20 yards. Immediately at the other end, United had a free kick in a decent position but Konan N’gouan’s effort was deflected agonisingly wide.
Rangers’ injury woes was compounded as 2014 World Cup striker Michael Uchebo was replaced after coming off worse in a clash with Rivers United defender Festus Austin before the half time .
The big attacker was replaced with Former Sharks of Port Harcourtstar Ibrahim Ajani replaced him after the half hour mark.
Malachi Ohawume who was rewarded with a rare start following his fantastic State FA Cup display scored the first goal of the game in the 36th minutes as the hosts went into the break ahead.
Wasiu Jimoh added the second for the home side in the 59th minutes as his powerful drive beats Nana Bonsu in goal for the disjointed visitors.
From that point, it was Rivers United all the way, so many chances came begging but it was until 14th minutes from time before Nelson Esor scored the third to′ inflicted back-to-back defeats on Gbenga Ogunbote’s men for the first time this season.
The win lifts Stanley Eguma’s side out of the relegation zone into a lofty 4th, while Rangers maintains their lead on the Group A log.
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