Femi Ajayi volleys Rangers to win away to Jigawa Stars

By Abdul Raheem

Rangers International FC of Enugu picked their first away victory of the 2020/2021 NPFL season as substitute, Femi Ajayi’s volley gave them a 1-0 win over Jigawa Golden Stars in the Matchday 3 encounter at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna.

Jigawa Golden Stars will feel undone by luck as they had several chances to open scoring in the first half and even in the early part of the second half including the goal mouth melee that was cleared for Israel to pursue from his own half.

The striker latched onto it, held off a defender before volleying into the roof of the net leaving Paul Godwin in Jigawa goal no chance at all.

A game of two halves, the Badaru Boys of Jigawa controlled the first half but was undone by their lackluster finishing as Lala Abdullahi, Ali Musa Kalla and Andrew Idoko frittered away all chances.

The game was heading for a draw before the Flying Antelopes who commanded most of the second half saw their chance and took it.

After opening their season with a lone goal victory over Sunshine Stars at the same ground two weeks ago, the Badaru Boys have now lost two of their three matches and would be angling for maximum point in their next match to move up the table.

Speaking after the match, Rangers assistant coach, Mangut Nbwas attributed their victory to strategy and outsmarting their opponents. “We came with a game plan but we realised we weren’t achieving our aim. So, we made two changes in the first half and they were positive.

“Our players were able to stand their ground and we got our chances in the second half. Jigawa Stars are a dangerous side. If you allow them to play, they have good ball distribution but we didn’t give them room to play the way they wanted.”

Match details:

Jigawa Golden Stars Team list
30 Paul Godwin
2 Bilal Yakubu
37 James Ajako
5 Olanrewaju Abdulrahman
34 Olamide Ogundele (33 Papa Idris)
8 Richard Christopher
22 Dogara Peter (7 Saidu Usman)
21 Mohammed Gidado
11 Abdullahi Lala
10 Ali Musa Kalla (19 Mubarak Bello)
36 Andrew Idoko (9 Stone Samuel)

Substitutes

1 Mukhtar Ibrahim
19 Mubarak Bello
17 Yusuf Abdullahi
9 Stone Samuel
33 Papa Idris
12 Obadaki Halilu
7 Saidu Usman
13 Kingsley Dede
27 Olasunkanmi Quadri

Head Coach: Gilbert Opuana

Rangers International Team list
25 Nana Bonsu
20 Tope Olusesi
7 Ifeanyi Nweke
26 Tony Shimaga
4 Uche John
24 Ernest Governor
29 Agu Kenechukwu (22 Shedrack Asiegbu)
30 Chiamaka Madu (32 Ajayi Femi)
19 Dauda Madaki (31 Chidiebere Nwobodo)
18 Chinonso Eziekwe (27 Abia Israel)
9 Christian Nnaji (10 Ugochukwu Ugwuoke)

Substitutes

16 Femi Thomas
12 Osas Okoro
10 Ugochukwu Ugwuoke
11 Godspower Aniefiok
33 Ebuka Franklin
31 Chidiebere Nwobodo
22 Shedrack Asiegbu
27 Abia Israel
32 Ajayi Femi

TA: Salisu Yusuf

Man of the match; Rangers substitute, Israel Abia was chosen man of the match for being a thorn in the flesh of Jigawa Stars defence and scoring the lone goal of the match.

Cautions: Jigawa Stars Olamide Ogundele and Andrew Idoko were cautioned for misconduct. Rangers’ Chidiebere Nwobodo was also penalised for misconduct.

Match Statistics:
Shots 2/5
Shots on target 1/4
Corners 5/4
Fouls 8/13
Free kicks 16/10
Offsides 2/3
Saves 3/0
Yellow cards 2/1
Red cards 0/0
Penalties 0/0
Goals 0/1