Rangers rebound, beat Lobi Stars 2-1 as Akwa defeats FC IfeanyiUbah
Yesterday was matchday two of the competition, which will determine the champions of the 2018/2019 NPFL season.
In their first games on Tuesday, Rangers were beaten 0-1 by Enyimba, while Akwa United drew 2-2 with Kano Pillars.
Enugu Rangers made good Coach Gbenga Ognbote’s boast that his wards would come back stronger after Tuesday’s setback with Godwin Aguda and Chiamaka Madu giving the Flying Antelopes the perfect start they wanted in the first half.
Sikiru Alimi pulled one back for Lobi Stars in the second half, but it was not enough to deny the 2016 champions the three points they needed to keep their title aspirations back on track.
Lobi Stars had the first opportunity to take the lead two minutes into the game, but Alimi placed his shot just wide.
It was Rangers chance to fail to score in the seventh minute when Chiamaka Madu’s strike was pushed wide by Lobi’s goalkeeper, Egbe Ospino.
Rangers got the opener in the 10th minute when Aguda slotted the ball beyond Egbe off a pass by Madu.
Madu doubled the tally in the 28th minute when he rounded Egbe to calmly slot the ball into an open net.
The first half ended 2-0 in Rangers’ favour.
With some changes in the second half, Lobi Stars took the fight to Rangers in search of goals. Their efforts paid off in the 60th when Alimi connected well with a pass from Kadiri to slam the ball beyond a diving Nana Bonsu.
But that was all Lobi could get as Rangers defended stoutly to the end.
Earlier in the first game of the day, Akwa United came from a goal down to defeat FC IfeanyiUbah 2-1. The defeat condemned FC IfeanyiUbah to the bottom of the table as the only team without a win after two games.
The Anambra Warriors, who lost their first match 1-3 to Lobi Stars on Tuesday, took the lead in the 33rd minute through Emmanuel Ugwuka. But Cyril Olisema got the equaliser for Akwa United two minutes after the break when he reacted quickest to a Godspower Igudia shot parried into his path by Anozie Chinedu.
Akwa United were awarded a penalty in the 57th minute when Charles Okafor handled Ndifreke Effiong’s cross inside the box.
Olisema put the penalty beyond Anozie for the Uyo club’s first win of the competition.
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