344 views | Kenechukwu Ofomah | March 29, 2021
Awka – It was a hard-fought but painfully lost soccer battle at the Plateau, as seven-time Nigeria league champions, Rangers International F.C put up a dogged fight against Plateau United F.C, but a 68th minute Daniel Itodo’ connecting header ended any dream of the Enugu side leaving Jos with at least a point.
Coach Salisu Yusuf had set up a 3-5-2 formation for the match day 18, NPFL 2020/21 fixture, to dominate the host in the encounter that took place inside Jos International stadium but it was the host that took the lead on 12 minutes when an Oche Ochewuchi fiercely-struck shot whizzed past a wrongly positioned, Seidu Mutawakilu for the opening goal of the fixture.
The ovation that greeted the goal had hardly receded when Godspower Aniefiok restored parity for the ‘Flying Antelopes’ on 13 minutes, as a Kenechukwu Agu’s sleek pass released the lanky attacking midfielder to grab his fourth goal of the season.
Plateau United despite been stung by the leveler, took the game to the visitors but it was the brilliance of Ghanaian shot stopper, Seidu Mutawakilu that kept the Enugu side from recording more goals as the first half ended on equal terms for both sides with Bernard Ovoke, Uche Onwuasoanya, Rabiu Zilkifilu and Mustapha Ibrahim, all coming close.
In the second half, the host continued from where they left off with more attacking football but Ebuka Anthony, Traore Issif and Ernest Governor did well to contain them with Seidu always to the rescue anytime there was a slip.
Long-throw master, Daniel Itodo, however benefited from a loss of concentration from Rangers defenders who reacted late in defending a corner-kick as the left-back headed home what turned out to be the winning goal in the tightly contested encounter.
Chief coach of the Enugu side, Mbwas Mangus, said after the encounter, “We came here fully aware of the side we were playing against and we started very well but in the middle of the half we lost grip of the game and could not convert some created chances. They were able to convert their chances and carry the day.”