A first-half brace from Godwin Obaje ensured that six-time National Challenge/Federation/Aiteo cup champions, Rangers International eased past Kano Pillars F.C in the round of 32 of Federation Cup 2023 encounter decided at the Practice pitch of FIFA Goal Project, Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, Wednesday.
Attacking sensation, Obaje, who netted twice in the 5-1 demolition of Ingas F.C in the Enugu state F.A Cup final match, was quick off the block to calmly control an Innocent Gabriel’s delicate cross before blasting past a helpless Joshua Enaholo on 4 minutes to send supporters and admirers of the ‘Flying Antelopes’ into wild jubilations.
To their credit, the ‘Sai Masu Gida’ side did not lay back to be consumed but came out firing from all cylinders led by the legendary, Rabiu Ali, in search of a quick leveler which failed to materialize due primarily to neat defending and splendid goalkeeping from Detan Ogundare.
Obaje got his second of the day when he was fed by Shedrack Asiegbu who had brought in an intelligent pass from Chidiebere Nwobodo that had outwitted his marker in a counterattack move on 42 minutes.
Efforts by both sides to score more goals in the second stanza proved abortive even when descent opportunities were created.
An elated coach Abdul Maikaba, Technical Adviser of Rangers said after the match, “It was a great game against a difficult side but we are happy we got the job done. We take other matches in the Federation Cup as they come as we hope to go as far as emerging champions. Our strategy worked as I know a little of our opponent which we put to good use and got the required result.”
Goalkeeper, Detan Ogundare in his chat, said, “We thank God for the victory as we prepared very hard for this victory and Kano Pillars gave us a good fight. We shall continue to work hard until our target of becoming champions of the Federation Cup is achieved.”
RANGERS TEAM: Detan Ogundare, Innocent Gabriel, Kenneth Igboke, Uche John, Chinecherem Ugwueze (Okorie Chukwuebuka -90th Min.), Ebuka Anthony, Esor Achibong (Saidu Adamu -46th Min.), Chidiebere Nwobodo, Godwin Obaje (Austin Onyemaechi -70th Min.), Adam Musa (Ejike Uzoenyi -46th Min.), Shedrack Asiegbu (Hadi Mohammed -70th Min.). UNUSED SUBS: Nana Bonsu, Philip Clement, Samuel Pam, David Chimezie.
GOALS: Godwin Obaje (2x) – 4th & 42nd Minutes.