A Kelvin Itoya’s strike early in the second half was all Rangers International needed to earn maximum points against visiting Rivers United at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in Enugu.
The Matchday 6 clash of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) saw the Flying Antelopes bagging three available points in successive home games.
Gbenga Ogunbote’s team started stronger and should have taken the lead from the kickoff. A long searching ball from captain Okey Odita to Bright Silas on the right flank was well controlled by the diminutive winger who despite the attention from Festus Austine still managed to cross to Kelvin Itoya whose header could not trouble Rivers United goalkeeper Rotimi Sunday who made a smart save.
The visitors responded with an attack of their own in the seventh minute, Oche Salefu should have been more clinical when he was set up for a shot after a free-flowing team move. The former Remo Stars midfielder’s effort was always rising.
The trio of Abu Azeez, Kelvin Itoya and Bright Silas found spaces and opportunities limited and they found it difficult to match the hard tackling Rivers United backline that had Austine, Samson Gbadebo and Godwin Obinze.
The Flying Antelopes were forced to an early change in the first half after Chiamaka Madu could not recover from a head injury suffered midway in the half. Ugonna Anyaora took his place and brought a semblance of calm in Rangers’ midfield.
The first half ended 0-0