Champions Enugu Rangers beat Wikki Tourists 3-2 in Enugu yesterday in a rescheduled Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) contest to leave bottom place of the 20-team table.
The Flying Antelopes began the day ensconced at the foot of the table and needed a victory of any margin to begin their ascent on the log. They claimed the win in the end, by the skin of their teeth, courtesy of goals from Bobby Clement, Ifeanyi George and Ousmane Pape Sane. The visitors scored twice through Chukwudi Samuel and Shammah Tanze to set up a nervy finale but the hosts held on to claim an important win which saw them climb off the foot of the table to the relief of their numerous fans. As was the case against four-time champions, Kano Pillars on Sunday, Rangers took an early lead on Wednesday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu through big striker, Clement who rose majestically before planting an emphatic header past the Wikki goalkeeper, Emeka Nwabulu. Five minutes before the break, George doubled the hosts’ lead with a well-taken penalty before Chukwudi halved the deficit, six minutes after the restart. Sane restored Rangers’ two-goal cushion with another headed goal, this time off an Ugwu Uwadiegwu corner in the 71st minute but the visitors from Bauchi refused to roll over. Tanze struck 11 minutes before the end but there was to be no further scoring in the rip-roaring contest that ebbed and flowed, thrilling the fans who turned out to no end. Rangers now sit in 19th place on the NPFL standings, level on points with 20th-placed Remo Stars who have amassed 19 points, same as the Enugu club who however enjoy a superior goal difference.