BY JOE APU
The NPFL title is back on the radar of Rangers International of Enugu as they regained leadership of the Nigeria league after they defeated Sunshine Stars 2-0 and closest rivals Rivers United fell 1-0 to Wikki yesterday.
Rangers are now top of the table with 57 points, Wikki leaped to second place on 56 points ahead of Rivers United, who also have 56, but with an inferior goals difference to the Bauchi club.
The home win also earned ‘The Flying Antelopes’ a three million Naira special bonus from Enugu State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
Rangers took a deserved lead at ‘The Cathedral’ Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in Enugu through big striker Bobby Clement in the 37th minute after he was set up by Ocheme Edoh.
Sunshine Stars had a chance to draw level soon after, but Dele Olorundare’s penalty was saved by the Rangers Ghanaian goalkeeper Nana Bonsu in the 41st minute after Kalu Orji handled the ball inside his box.
With 20,000 expectant fans defying the rains, Bobby Clement headed Rangers further ahead in the 48th minute, when he nodded home Chisom Egbuchulam’s cross from the left.
He would have completed his hat-trick in the 68th minute, when he turned sharply inside the box but his powerful shot missed narrowly.
Rangers survived a scare when a Sunshine Stars shot crashed against the post late on.
Wikki needed an 80th minute winner by Christopher Waziri, who headed home at the far post.
Rivers United defended deep in a desperate bid to at least get a draw in Bauchi.
FC IfeanyiUbah title bid also suffered a major blow after they lost 2-1 at Lobi Stars.
Nigeria league results Sunday
Rangers 2 Sunshine 0
Plateau 1 Ikorodu United 0
Warri Wolves 1 3SC 0
Lobi 2 IfeanyiUbah 1
Wikki 1 Rivers United 0
Enyimba 0 MFM 0
Abia Warriors 2 Nasarawa 1