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Enugu Rangers back on top, as rivals falter


Bobby Clement

Bobby Clement

Bobby Clement netted twice in each half of the Match Day 36 fixture at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium to take the Coal City club back to the summit of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) log after rivals, Rivers United went down to a Christopher Waziri goal in Bauchi against Wikki Tourists.

As though there has been a premonition of what the Flying Antelopes will turn the season into, the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium was renamed the Cathedral at the start of the season and ‘worshippers’ have been trooping in like never seen since the shine went off the Rangers all white outfit. But Coach Imama Ampakabo and his young squad seem to have the right kind of vim to return the sheen.

Rangers thus climbed to 57 points, one point ahead of former leaders, Rivers United.

The ball bubbled inside the Akure Gunners box on the 37th minute and Clement pounced to score, picking his spot to put the Flying Antelopes ahead. Sunshine Stars looked like they switched plans from their defensive intent to offensive when they mounted pressure for the equalizer and on the 41st minute, Orji Kalu handled the ball inside the box for a penalty. Dele Olorundare stepped forward but his effort was saved by goalkeeper, Nana Bonsu.

Eight minutes after, Clement’s physique came in handy when he rose highest to head home a Chuka Egbuchulam cross. The rains poured down but Rangers held on for a win that may indeed be the turning point in their quest to break a 32-year title drought.

In Bauchi, Wikki Tourists defeated Rivers United 1-0 with a late winner from Waziri, while FC IfeanyiUbah saw their unbeaten run stopped in Makurdi by Lobi Stars, who beat them 2-1.

In another nervy encounter, Abia Warriors rekindled their survival from relegation with a first win in six games following a 2-1 defeat of Nasarawa United at the Umuahia Township Stadium.

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