Substitute Pascal Seka’s late goal gave Rangers International a share of the points against Katsina United in their rescheduled Nigeria Professional Football League tie which finished 1-1 at the Muhammadu Dikko Stadium, Katsina on Wednesday.
Katsina United opened scoring in the 14th minute through Eric Gwammy but the home side’s hope of running away with the maximum points was undone, as they lost concentration to allow the visitors come back and steal the equalizer at the death.
The game was as exciting as it was unpredictable from beginning to the end. Rangers had two clear chances of scoring through Michael Uchebo and Chidera Ezeh, but they fluffed the chances by shooting wide on both occasions only for the Chanji Boys to strike.
A freekick was awarded against the Flying Antelopes. The free kick was punched away by Rangers goalkeeper, Nana Bonsu for a throw-in on the left side.
The throw-in caused a goalmouth scramble before the ball was cleared for another throw-in on the right side this time the visitors could not clear the ball as Gwammy latched on to it inside the six-yard box, turned and shot high into roof of the net.
Ten minutes later, Uchebo drove into the home side’s box and laid a beautiful pass for Ezeh on the left but he fired his shot wide from four yards with goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa beaten. In the 36th minute, a penalty appeal by Uchebo was waved off by the referee who felt there was no foul.
In the second half, the Chanji Boys squandered two good chances. First, Gwammy laid a pass for Martins Usule, inside the box but he shot over the bar from six yards. Moments later Lukman Mohammed found himself with the ball inside the six-yard box but shot high as well.
Then came the defining moment of the game, with one minute added time and well into the added time, Rangers struck. There was a counter by the Flying Antelopes, which the home side failed to track thinking the ball was offside only for substitute Seka to latch on to it and lobbed goalkeeper Ezenwa for their equaliser.
Rangers head coach, Gbenga Ogunbote described the outcome as two points lost. He said they should have won by three or more goals margin.
“We thank God for picking a point on the road but this is more like two points lost. We should have rounded off the game in the first half when we lost many scoring chances. We are playing them at home in our next match and we have to be at our best to win because we have a name to protect especially at home,” Ogunbote said.
Katsina United: 13 Ikechukwu Ezenwa; 2 Frank Kappe, 27 Tsawanya Samuel, 4 Usman Barau, 6 Ajannah Chinedu, 32 Ikechukwu Nwachukwu, 7 Tasiu Lawal, 30 Lukman Mohammed (Dominic Abbah 75′), 19 Usule Martins, 16 Yushau Garba (Bashir Sheriff 63′), 29 Eric Gwammy (Akeem Balogun 88′)
Unused substitutes: 1 Yinka David Simon; 15 Monday Shinshima, 20 Abdulkarim Ahmed, 18 Musa Suleiman
Head coach: Abdullahi Biffo
Goal: Eric Gwammy 14′
Rangers International: 25 Nana Bonsu; 20 Tope Olusesi (Ugochukwu Ugwuoke), 3 Ugwu Uwadiegwu, 26 Tony Shimaga, 24 Isiaka Oladuntoye, 18 Adubi Akpos, 11 Chidera Ezeh (Godwin Zaki 85′), 2 Godwin Aguda, 23 Koffi Roland, 9 Michael Uchebo (Pascal Seka 68′), 22 Solomon Okpako
Unused substitutes: 31 Japhet Opubo; 4 Okey Odita, 33 West Omodu, 32 Traore Issif
Head coach: Gbenga Ogunbote
Goal: Pascal Seka 90′
Yellow card: Michael Uchebo
Katsina United 1-1 Rangers
Shots on target 1-2
Corner kicks 4-3
Free kicks 19-11
Yellow cards 0-1
Red cards 0-0
Man of the match: Eric Gwammy