- Published on Saturday, 09 September 2017 23:15
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By Clement Nwankpa Jr
Plateau United defeated Rangers 2-0 at Rwang Pam Stadium, Jos to record a first ever topflight title on Saturday.
Going into the game, Plateau needed a win to emerge champions irrespective of what happened in Maiduguri where second-placed MFM FC were guests of El-Kanemi. And they left nobody in doubt as to their resolve as they were on the front foot from the blast of the whistle.
Buoyed by the presence of the Plateau State governor, Simon Lalong and a vociferous home crowd, Plateau United laid siege on Rangers goal and should have gone ahead in the 12th minute save for Rangers keeper, Itodo Akor who displayed high alertness to stop Peter Eneji's curler from going in.
Plateau coach Kennedy Boboye's offensive disposition was highlighted by a preference for a twin strike force of Emeka Umeh and Kabiru Umar. The duo's combination was such a nightmare for the visitors.
In the 18th minute, Umar missed an opportunity to give Plateau United the lead but Umeh would score the opener seven minutes later off Umar's assist.
Akor came to Rangers' rescue in the 28th minute. Daniel Itodo's throw-in caused havoc in the Flying Antelopes box, the ball fell for Umar who unleashed a canon but Itodo refused to be beaten.
Umar teed on Umeh again in the 34th minute but his effort went wide.
Then came the miss of the game in the 45th minute. Umar again! The net was begging, the keeper had given up, but he couldn't get his shot on target.
Umeh and Umar were not done yet. They continued the raid on Rangers at the restart. In the 54th minute, Umeh leapt up, met Emma James' cross but his header was gathered by Akor.
Things were however getting worse for Rangers as Peter Eneji was gradually asserting himself on the game. In the 56th minute, Eneji cut in from the right and hit with his left but Akor parried into corner. When Eneji starts playing this way, Plateau United are capable of doing so much damage.
Uwadiegwu Ugwu kept Rangers alive in the 74th minute when he cleared Itodo's goal-bound effort on the line.
Substitute Benjamin Turba grabbed the second goal in the 88th minute. Akor failed to deal with Eneji's shot and from the ensuing melee, Turba jabbed in.
Plateau United showed how it is done when one has his destiny in his own hands.
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