Asiegbu’s late strike earn Rangers vital point at Dakkada

Shedrack Asiegbu’s late goal was vital for Rangers International of Enugu to secure a crucial point away to Dakkada FC in a Matchday 28 fixture decided at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium Uyo on Sunday.

Riding on the euphoria of their Matchday 27 win away at Warri Wolves, the Uyo based side went into the fixture with a goal of positioning themselves clear of the relegation zone with ten games to wrap up the current campaign.

Captain of the side, Aniekan Ekpe was not in the Matchday squad, same as goalkeeper Loveday Anugbuo whose excellent outing in Ozoro, suggested he should have been in goal.

The visitors named two former players of Dakkada FC in their starting line up (Femi Ajayi and Esor Archibong), while winger Godspower Aniefiok also made a return to a familiar terrain.

A fierce first half saw both sides wait patiently for a breakthrough in the 37th minute, when Isaac George skipped past his marker, to head Austin Osayande’s cross behind goalkeeper Nana Bonsu. The home side held onto the advantage to the interval.

Coach Salisu Yusuf rejigged his front-line with the introduction of Christian Nnaji and Ibrahim Olawoyin. The move did not count in terms of goals, but rattled the home side’s defense as they asked more questions this side of the half compared to the first half.

The pressure paid off in the 88th minute, when Dakkada failed to clear their lines appropriately. Substitute Shedrack Asiegbu got to the end of a poor clearance to draw the visitors level courtesy of a 20 yards pile driver.

Dakkada had themselves to blame for a number of wasted opportunities, which could have put the game behind Rangers. Nana Bonsu was also in his best elements in the closing minutes.

Coach Salisu was impressed by the performance of both teams and expressed optimism on improvements in the league.

“Dakkada fought hard and gave us a good match. We did our best also and most especially securing a point from the game. I think the standard of the league from what we have seen so far has generally improved and that is a plus to everyone involved”, he told npfl.ng.

Expressing disappointment at the result, Coach Dalami however, insisted that Dakkada has improved from what it was before he joined.

The result takes Rangers International to 7th place on the log with 43 points, ten adrift of leaders Akwa United, while Dakkada move a place better (13th), nine points clear of the relegation zone.

Team News:
Dakkada XI: Thomas, Unwana, Samuel, Kareem, Odinaka, Doyeni, Isaac, Inamoto, Bashiru, Osayande, Jesam

Rangers XI: Bonsu, Governor, Ajayi, Archibong, Olusesi, Madu, Abia, Tower, Anthony, Nweke, Shimaga

Match Stats:
Corners: 8-2
Shots: 9-6
On Target: 5-3
Fouls Won: 18-19
Yellow: 1-1
Red: 0-0
Offsides: 4-2
Saves: 2-4