Enyimba International midfielder Dare Ojo has admitted that his side missed a big opportunity to rescue an unlikely point and extend their unbeaten run in Sunday’s 1-0 Oriental derby defeat to Rangers International.
Bright Silas’ early goal in the first half was enough for the Flying Antelopes to halt Enyimba’s eight-match unbeaten run at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) matchday 12 encounter.
Despite going down in the opening five minutes of the match, the visitors dominated and wasted good scoring opportunities to earn a good result in Enugu against their former coach Gbenga Ogunbote.
Rangers goalkeeper and former Enyimba goalkeeper Femi Thomas denied Ikechukwu Ibenegbu and Stanley Dimgba in the first half. Nana Bonsu came on to replaced injured Thomas and also made brilliant saves in the second half, denying Bashir Abdulrahman twice late in the match.
“It was a game which had huge importance to our season target, it’s painful we lost our unbeaten run especially the fact that we dominated the game and created enough chances to level the scores,” said Ojo to Naijafootballplus.com.
With the defeat, Enyimba dropped to sixth position on the log with 17 points from 11 league matches, six points behind league leaders Lobi Stars.
Dare Ojo added: “It’s a huge setback for us, in Enyimba it’s unacceptable to lose derby games. The management regarded derby games as important factor for the team season. We have to learn the hard lessons, we have to improve in the attack.
“We have to sleep this off and prepare for the next game against Energie FC in the CAF Confederation Cup. We have the advantage and we have to finish the job in Calabar and move on to the next round. I am confident we’ll bounce back from the derby defeat,” Ojo optimistic.
Enyimba next game will be against Energie FC of Benin Republic in the CAF Confederation Cup second round qualifier in Calabar on Sunday.