A late strike on 88 minutes from substitute, Shedrack Asiegbu, ensured that the ‘Flying Antelopes’, Rangers International F.C left the Godswill Akpabio International stadium, Uyo, with a vital point as they forced Dakkada F.C to a 1-1 draw in a match day 28, NPFL 2020/21 fixture.
The young attacking midfielder was a 76th minute replacement for Godspower Aniefiok and his coming in with that of Ugochukwu Ugwuoke, Daniel Vendaga and Ibrahim Olawoyin did a lot to push the host who had taken a first half lead into defensive position until the equalizer came.
Isaac George had shot Dakkada into the lead on 37 minutes after some hesitant defending left a yawning gap at the far post for him to connect home an Austin Osayande’ inch perfect cross.
Before conceding, the coach Salisu Yusuf’ wards were on the front seat with the quartet of Tony Shimaga, Godspower Aniefiok, Esor Archibong and Chiamaka Madu dominating proceedings in the middle of the pack but the duo of Israel Abia and Femi Ajayi could not find a way past the stocky defense put in place by coach Umar Danlami.
With the looking to slip through its fingers as the clock ticked, the Rangers gaffer was quick to wring some changes that sparked life into his team’ play with a large chunk of possession in the last half hour of the game and there was no stopping the ferocious shot from Asiegbu from nestling in the bottom corner of Thomas Omokhude’ net off a fine team play that involved Tope Olusesi, Ernest Governor, Ifeanyi Nweke, Ibrahim Olawoyin and Ugochukwu Ugwuoke in a one-touch precise passing game.
Rangers’ gaffer, coach Yusuf in a post- match chat, side, “We were expecting the three points but we gave away a very cheap goal in the first half which became a motivation to our opponent as the fought in all departments of the game to stop us. With the changes we made, we pushed them back and thank God we equalized. It was really a difficult game.”
Midfielder, Tony Shimaga, who screened the back line in this encounter said, “We actually came to Uyo for the three points but we thank God for the one point we got. We worked hard to get a better result but our opponent gave us a good fight. With ten games left, I believe we can still make it right in achieving our target of a continental ticket at the end of the season.”
Goal scorer, Shedrack Asiegbu, who dedicated the goal to his late father as a post humus ‘Father’s Day’ wish said, “Before the match, I had the premonition that I was going to score as it has been a tradition for me to score on every Father’s Day celebration from my last club. When the coach introduced me to the game with less than fifteen minutes in the game, I still believed the goal would come.”
Rangers remain in 7th place on the log with 43 points from 28 matches and will next play Warri Wolves in Ozoro, Delta state in a match day 29 fixture.