Ivorian import, Seka Pascal, was the hero of the day as his lone strike on 36 minutes made all the difference as seven-time Nigeria league champions, Rangers International F.C maintained its stay at the summit of Group A with a 1-0 victory over visiting MFM F.C of Lagos.
The much talked about match day 16 NPFL fixture started on a cautious note for both sides with the host showing much hunger in the third quarter but continued to waste chances created.
Coach Olugbenga Ogunbote relied on the starting team that was held to a draw midweek save for Chiamaka Madu and Michael Uchebo who made way for returning pint-sized, Bright Silas and Roland Koffi who added bite to the attack line anchored by Ajani Ibrahim and Seka Pascal.
As early as the first five minutes of the encounter, Seka had two golden opportunities thrown away as his aerial connections with Silas’ crosses were not on point leaving the fans and bench wandering.
At the quarter-hour mark, the visitors had a crack at a goal as Kabiru Adeniji fired a long range effort which did not trouble Ghanaian shot stopper, Nana Bonsu.
With the game looking to drag to a scoreless first half, Ajani received a pass from Tony Shimaga and beat his marker to lay an inch perfect pass for Seka Pascal to tuck in behind onrushing Odekunle Olatunji in goal for the visitors for his fifth goal of the season.
Rangers had more opportunities to increase the tally in the second stanza but some quality goalkeeping and bizzer misses robbed the match of more goals even when Silas and the half full stadium thought Rangers had the second goal with a diving header on 72 minutes only for his effort to crash against the upright and cleared to safety.
At the end of the encounter, Rangers gaffer, Olugbenga Ogunbote said, “It was a good game and we thank God for His grace as our opponent had come to cause us some worries. Sincerely, we still have to work on our conversion ratio because this game could have ended with more goals. We continue to fight for every point with the league coming to an end.”
Coach Fidelis Ilechukwu said, “We lost to a very good side with the best coach in the country. We did our best but it was not just good enough. We shall go back to work on our weak points before our next game. We can still make it.”
With the win, Rangers keeps it’s place at the summit of group A log with 31 points with two games in hand while Enyimba and MFM are placed second and third respectively with 25 and 24 points.
RANGERS TEAM: Nana Bonsu, Chidera Ezeh, Ugwu Uwadiegwu, Tony Shimaga, Akpos Adubi, Ajani Ibrahim, Godwin Aguda, Roland Koffi (Ugochukwu Uwguoke -65th min.), Bright Silas, Seka Pascal, Isiaka Oladuntoye.
SUBS NOT USED: Femi Thomas, Okey Odita, West Omodu, Kelvin Itoya, Isaac Loute, Christian Madu.