Abia Warriors produced a superb performance at home to run out 4-0 victors against Rangers International in a Nigeria Professional Football League Matchday 21 fixture played at the Umuahia Township stadium.
Sunday Adetunji put the host in front within six minutes of the opening whistle when he latched on to a long ball from Goalkeeper Agbor Ekoi and deftly lifted the ball past the onrushing Rangers goalkeeper into an unguarded net.
Within quarter of an hour gone, Abia Warriors doubled their lead through Anthony Okemmiri who benefited from an assist by Uche Ihuarulam. Ihuarulam managed to hold off his marker on the left side of the eighteen-yard box, lifted his head up and accurately picked Okemmiri at the far post to jab the ball past Seidu Mutawakilu to increase the home sides lead.
In a first-half dominated by the host, Garba Mohammed narrowly flashed his shot wide with Rangers defence all at sea.
Unimpressed by what he’s seen in the first-half, Head coach of Rangers, Chukwuma Agbo sent on Ifeanyi George to add bite into the flying Antelopes attack and Pape Ousmane to bring a bit of coordination to the Rangers backline.
The visitors did improve but lacked accuracy in their shooting when they tried shots from distances.
Just when Rangers thought they were on the ascendency, Abia Warriors scored their third of the game. Substitute Samson Obi received a throw from Ogbannaya Okemmiri and elected to shoot from a tight angle only to see his miscued shot fall kindly for Adetunji to score his second of the game with a left footed shot.
Agbo immediately sent on Daniel Etor to save the situation and the tricky winger quickly made his presence felt when he fired a 25-yard shot in the 81st minute crashing off the keeper’s right-hand post to remind the home side what he’s capable of doing even though his side was having an off day.
Abia Warriors wrapped up the victory four minutes before the ninety through Samson Obi’s’ ingenuity. The winger’s quick feet left both Goalkeeper and defender for dead before slotting the ball into the net to send the home fans into wild jubilation.
With the win, Abia Warriors have now done a league double over reigning champions Rangers. Abia Warriors won the first meeting between the two clubs 1-2 in Enugu on the opening day of the season.
Abia Warriors move to 8th position on the log with 31 points while Rangers remain in 15th with 26 points.
Abia Warriors: Agbor Ekoi, Ozor Chinedu, Mohammed Garba (Ogbonnaya Okemmiri 52′), Nwangwu Arinze, Obaroakpo Austin, Abiodun Adebayo, Ihuarulam Uche (Obi Samson 58′), Effiong Ndifreke (Kalu Nweke 75′), Adetunji Sunday, Hammed Yakubu, Anthony Okemmiri
Unused subs: Anozie Chinedu, Efugh Chinedu, Asiegbu Shedrack, Agoha Chinenye
Coach: Abdullahi Biffo
Rangers: Seidu Mutawakilu, Etim Matthew, Chidiebere Okoli, Abdulrazak Aliyu, Tope Olusesi (Ifeanyi George 47′), Chiamaka Madu (Daniel Etor 65′), Aguda Godwin, Ebuka Okeke, Omo Johnson, Orji Kalu, Chibuzor Madu (Ousmane Pape Sane 55′)
Unused subs: Akpan Bassey, Okey Odita, Bright Silas, Amaefule Chizoba
Coach: Chukwuma Agbo