A well crafted 85th-minute goal by former Super Eagles winger, Felix Ogbuke, who came on as a 72nd-minute substitute for another ex-Super Eagles star, Michael Uchebo, was all seven-time league champions, Rangers International needed to annex all three points at stake in a matchday 20 NPFL 2018/2019 fixture against visiting Bendel Insurance.
The ‘Flying Antelopes’ got off to a flying start in the encounter that happened inside ‘The Cathedral’, Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium and watched by an appreciable number of spectators but could not break down a well-knitted defense line of the coach Monday Odigie tutored side.
As early as the second minute of the highly entertaining encounter, Rangers top scorer, Godwin Aguda was presented a golden opportunity to shot the host into a well-deserved lead as an inch-perfect cross from Tope Olusesi evaded all and found Aguda who only found the side of the net with a yawning goal at his mercy.
More opportunities for the host to take a commanding lead came but were fluffed away by the forward line on the ‘Flying Antelopes’ that had Ajani Ibrahim, Kelvin Itoya, Chiamaka Madu and Michael Uchebo lined up by coach Ogunbote.
The vastly traveled gaffer made four changes to the squad that lost 1-0 to Lobi Stars at the weekend in Makurdi and it was a much-improved performance but the youthful backline of the visitors led by Benjamin Tanimu, Daniel Johnson, Sodje Stephen, and Odinaka Edeh stood their ground.
With the match creeping to a stalemate, the reigning NFF/Aiteo Coach-of-the-Year, Olugbenga Ogunbote threw in Ogbuke into the fray and with few minutes on the pitch, collected a pass from Chiamaka Madu dribbled his way past two markers and chipped the ball past a stranded goalkeeper, Amas Obasogie into a yawning net to send the crowd into wild jubilations.
With this win, Rangers picked a ticket for the end of the season’ super-six championship with a haul of 37 points from twenty matches and will next engage Rivers United in a match day 21 encounter in Enugu for their last home encounter in the abridged season.