New Enugu Rangers coach Sylvanus Okpalla was sent off in his first game in charge of the Nigerian league champions as his wards hung on to a 2-1 win over Rivers United on Monday morning.
CHAN Eagles invitee Ifeanyi George’s first half brace propelled Rangers to victory although the visitors – who like Rangers have endured a torrid season after both teams finished top of the league last term – got a late consolation through Emeka Ogbugh’s goal in a 3rd successive game.
Okpala who became Rangers’ third trainer this term after he dismissal of Chukwuma Agbo last week was sent to the stands within the opening half hour of his reins for petulance behaviour with his team 1-0 up in the game that was called off on 20 minutes on Sunday due to torrential downpour rendering the Nnamdi Azikwe Stadium unplayable. Victory lifted Rangers out of the regulation zone with 42 points.
Top two tighten grip
League leaders Plateau United maintained their 3-point gap at the summit after a routine 2-0 victory over strugglers Shooting Stars in a patchy Jos pitch. A goal in each half from Emmanuel Odafe and Ibeh Johnson took the Kennedy Boboye side another step towards their league title.
United will, however, be mindful of matters surrounding them as second placed MFM beat recorded their first away win in the second stanza with a 1-0 win at basement side Remo Stars. League top scorer Stephen Odey missed a penalty but it didn’t matter as substitute Austine Ogunye secured full marks for the Lagos-based side.
Enyimba edged out a tight contest against Kano Pillars 1-0 with captain Mfon Udoh’s second half penalty proving the difference between both sides. Pillars ended the game with 10 men as attacker Junior Lokosa was dismissed in the first half for an elbow incident with Enyimba star, Ifeanyi Anaemena.
ABS of Ilorin came from behind twice to draw 2-2 at Katsina United while there were no goals in the games involving Gombe United and Lobi Stars as well as Abia Warriors and Ifeanyiubah.
Wikki Tourists came from behind to record a 2-1 win over 10-man Sunshine Stars in Bauchi, Chinedu Onyelonu providing the winner from the penalty spot while Akwa United’s good run came to an end in Maiduguri when they lost 1-0 to El-Kanemi Warriors. Sunday’s final action saw Nasarawa United edge out Niger Tornadoes in a North Central Derby.
Photo Credits: LMC Media