It was not too good a day in the office for the ‘Flying Antelopes’, Rangers International F.C as the coach Salisu Yusuf tutored side fell to the determination of 10-man, Wikki Tourists F.C, 2-1 in a match day 12, NPFL 2020/2021, Wednesday, inside the main bowl of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa stadium, Bauchi.
The Enugu landlords started the game with the speed of lightening with the trio of Israel Abia, Christian Nnaji and Chidiebere Nwobodo pilling the needed pressure on the backline of the host led by Peter Ambrose and Salisu Adamu who did well to contain the early onslaught.
On 8th minute of play, Christian Nnaji went on a massy run which saw him dribble past three players before he was brought down on the edge of the box by Peter Ambrose who got himself booked while saving his side what could have been an early set back.
The host relied on the combination of Promise Damala, Idris Guda and Abiodun Thompson to try and unlock Rangers backline but met a stiff resistance from the Uche John led defense.
Israel Abia had two opportunities of shooting the visitors ahead on 19 and 26 minutes but Peter Ambrose did well to recover and blocked out his effort while Stanley Nwabali was alert to punch out a long range shot from an acute angle.
With the first stanza looking to end in a stalemate, Guda embarked on a dribbling run to set up Thompson who was about to pull the trigger before Ebuka Anthony got his leg entangled with the attacker inside the box and the referee awarded a penalty kick that was neatly tucked in by Idris Guda on 39th minute.
The host were however reduced to ten men as Peter Ambrose got his second caution for the day after he kicked out at Christian Nnaji on 43 minutes.
Israel Abia restored parity for the visitors on 53 minutes after he was set up by Isaac Loute with a thunderous shot that gave Nwabili no chance at all and expectations for further punishments for the host from the numerically advantaged visitors soon fizzled out with the host pushing for the winner.
Substitute, Nnamdi Egbujuo, Kenechukwu Agu and Ugochukwu Ugwuoke all had opportunities to wrap up the match for the visitors but wasted the chances that came their way in the last ten minutes of the game while substitute, Sale Ibrahim reacted the quickest to jab into an empty net when the visitors defense failed to clear their line effectively off a corner kick deep into added-on time.