Technical adviser of Rangers International F.C, Coach Fidelis Ilechukwu, has assured the club’s numerous supporters that the team will soon get back to winning ways after dropping all points at stake in a match day 17, NPFL 2023/2024 fixture against eternal rivals, Bendel Insurance F.C inside Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City, over the weekend.
Coach Ilechukwu while fielding questions from sports reporters after a 2-0 loss to the ‘Benin Arsenals’, said that the loss was avoidable going by the level of preparation going into the match but some mistakes from his backline put paid to all the expectations.
“Football has come to show that no team is a small team. We came to Benin with full optimism to get an excellent result but we failed to achieve our set targets. We lost and returned home to prepare for our next match and others for a winning return. It has been a challenging season but we are working hard to ensure that we rediscover our winning formula,” said the highly respected tactician.
Two goals in either half off the head and feet of Junior Osaghae and Ismail Sarki on 15 and 60 minutes of the highly entertaining encounter condemned the ‘Flying Antelopes’ to its sixth loss of the season despite starting the encounter on a high with a dominant midfield display but missed glaring opportunities that were created as the goalkeeper for the Benin side, Amas Obasogie proving his worth between the sticks.
Injury to midfield maestro, Kalu Nweke, a few minutes after the half-hour mark, meant that coach Ilechukwu had to rejig his match plan from a 4-4-2 to a 4-3-3 formation which pushed the home side back for the later part of the first half. Still, Okorie Chiedozie, Obaje Godwin, and Kazeem Ogunleye all were presented with opportunities that went begging.
At the hour mark, a defensive mix-up gifted the home side the second goal which put paid to any come-back performance due largely to the excellent display from Obasogie who refused to concede from Jonas Emmanuel, Odoh Joel, and Chidiebere Nwobodo.
Rangers maintain the 9th spot on the twenty teams log with 22 points from 16 matches and will next engage Gombe United in a match day 18 fixture of the 2023/2024 NPFL fixture on Sunday, January 14, 2024, inside the main bowl of Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium ‘The Cathedral’, Enugu.