A solitary strike from Reuben Bala off an Elijah Ani assist on 21 minutes was all Rangers International F.C needed to dispatch hard-fighting Lobi Stars in a pre-season friendly encounter at Awka City Stadium, Tuesday, in continuation of its build-up towards the coming 2022/2023 football season.
Fielding its best possible squad, coach Abdul Maikaba had Detan Ogundare between the sticks with Sani Shehu and Philip Clement as wing-backs and captain, Uche John and David Chimezie in the heart of the defense just as Emmanuel Charles was tasked with the defensive midfield role.
The trio of Ejike Uzoenyi, Michael Ibeh, and Naziru Auwalu took charge of the middle of the pack with Reuben Bala and Elijah Ani tasked with finding the opponent’s net.
As early as the 8th minute of play two opportunities had gone begging for the host as mesmerizing Uzoenyi had supplied his trademark crosses that were missed by his teammates when it would have been easier to connect home with the opponent’s shot stopper, Emmanuel Daniel missing in action.
But, there was no stopping the ‘Flying Antelopes’ when Naziru Auwalu released a deep penetrating pass that sliced open the visitor’s defense to find Elijah who laid a delicate pass for Reuben to slot past an out-rushing Emmanuel Daniel for the only goal of the highly entertaining encounter on 21 minutes.
Opportunities fell for both sides to score more goals in the encounter as stout defending, quality goalkeeping, and some unpardonable misses from the attackers all combined to rob the match of more goals despite the introduction of some fresh legs by the coaches.