Kwara United stop Rangers at The Cathedral
Seven-time Nigerian league champions, Rangers International F.C failed to take their chances in a match day 17 NPFL fixture as visiting and relegation-threatened Kwara United ran away with a valuable one point courtesy of a goalless draw achieved inside the main-bowl of Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu.
Thousands of fans of the ‘Flying Antelopes’ had thronged the stadium expecting a rout of the basement side under coach Bala Abubakar and the players did show hunger for victory in the early stages of the encounter but poor marksmanship and quality goalkeeping by Jonah Usman robbed the host of any goal.
It was a catalogue of missed opportunities for the trio of Bright Silas, Abu Azeez and Ajani Ibrahim in the early part of the encounter before the defence pair of Cyril Oriaku and Chinedu Sunday tightened their backline.
Former Junior International and Rangers shot stopper, Jonah Usman produced breath-taking saves off Abu Azeez and Bright Silas efforts on 13 and 21 minutes while Ghanaian goalkeeper for Rangers, Nana Bonsu, had to make a deep run out of his area to prevent Michael Ohanu from having a sniff at his goal after his defence line was breached on 26 minutes.
In the middle of the pack, Tijjani Adamu, Odudu Sunday and Rabiu Mohammed showed much tenacity to withstand all that was thrown at them by the midfielders fielded by coach Olugbenga Ogunbote.
The second stanza was a complete opposite of the first as the visitors grew in confidence and attacked in droves and would have broken the deadlock on 71 minutes but Michael Ohanu’ intelligent chip from the edge of the box was parried for a corner kick while a last minute full stretch diving save by Jonah Usman off a Bright Silas glancing header ensured that Rangers did not run away with the maximum points.