FC Ifeanyi Ubah lost to Rangers International FC by a goal to nil in an entertaining Oriental Derby played at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium Enugu on Wednesday courtesy of an Ifeanyi George’s 35 minute strike. Hitherto to the commencement of the game, Coach Yaw Preko made three changes to the side that were forced to a scoreless affair against Wikki Tourists two Sundays ago as returning Super Eagles Goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa made the starting 11 ahead of Bamba Drissa while Prince Aggreh and Bright Onyedikachi got the nod ahead of Kone Yaya and King Osanga respectively.
The much anticipated encounter lived up to the billings with both sides sizing each other well in the early exchanges. Rangers had the first chance of getting a goal in the game in the 3rd minute as defender Adou Blaise unintentionally handled the ball just outside the area with a follow up Osas Okoro’s freekick sailing just inches wide.
Madu Chiamaka’s spectacular bicycle kick sailed inches above the upright in the 8th minute after a good build up play from the combination of Madu Christian and Aguda Godwin. The Warriors Goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa was forced out of his lines to pull off a save from a one on one situation after Bright Onyedikachi lost the ball in midfield with Christian Madu capitalizing with a counter attacking move laying the pass the path of Silas thereby forcing Ezenwa’s swift response.
The first real attempt on goal and shot on target came in the 20th minute from a Prince Aggreh’s shot on goal assisted by Bright Onyedikachi which was parried away by Goalkeeper Seidu Mutawakilu for a corner kick which was futile. In the 29th minute, Rangers came close to scoring as Bright Silas was left off the mark but his effort was wayward.
Ifeanyi George scored for the Flying Antelopes in the 35th minute with a well roofed effort beyond Goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa for the only goal of the game. The Warriors showed some urgency as Aggreh’s freekick in the 37th and 39th minutes both went over, the first attempt won by Bright who was fouled by yellow carded Olusesi Tope and the second won by Seka Pascal as Aguda Godwin bagged a second yellow card of the game for a bad tackle on the Ivorian. The Anambra Warriors came close to scoring from a free header in the 42nd minute by Obaje Godwin assisted by Maamo Joseph which sailed just over as the half gradually came to a halt after 2 minutes of time added on.
In the second half Goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa on two occasions kept the Warriors in the game, First in the 51st minute a magnificent save from an Osas Okoro’s freekick and another in the 54th minute off a strong headed effort from Pape Ousmane.
Substitute Chijioke Alakwe who came in for Bright Onyedikachi made an instant contribution which almost resulted to a goal in the 79th minute after being teed by Prince Aggreh but Goalkeeper Seidu Mutawakilu was well composed to save his team’s blushes.
Three minutes from time Etor Daniel who came in for Olusesi Tope almost made it two from an ambitious effort from about 35 yards out which sailed just over the upright for the last effort from both sides with the referee bringing the game to an end after four minutes of added time had elapsed.
RANGERS INT’L FC 1 ( IFEANYI GEORGE – 35′)
FC IFEANYIUBAH 0
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