Rangers Win in Maseru to Boost Chances of Qual­i­fy­ing for Group Stage

THISDAY - - MONDAY SPORTS - Duro Ik­hazuagbe

Nige­ria’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives in the CAF Con­fed­er­a­tion Cup, Enugu Rangers, made a bold state­ment of qual­i­fy­ing for the money-spin­ning group stage yes­ter­day when the Fly­ing An­telopes de­feated hosts Bantu FC of Le­sotho 2-1 away in Maseru.

Rangers will con­sol­i­date the vic­tory if they are able to se­cure an­other win at their fortress at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Sta­dium in Enugu on Jan­uary 20 with the over­all win­ners ad­vanc­ing to the mini-league stage of the com­pe­ti­tion.

Top scor­ers for the Fly­ing An­telopes, Bright Silas and Aguda God­win were the scor­ers for the coach Olug­benga Ogun­bote side who let in a late goal off the boot of 26-year old South African im­port, La­zola Joko­jok­wane.

Silas shot Rangers in front on 20 min­utes af­ter con­nect­ing beau­ti­fully with a Chidera Eze’ inch per­fect cross while Aguda in­creased the lead on 87th min­utes with an­other Chidera’ as­sist to send the trav­el­ling del­e­ga­tion into wild ju­bi­la­tion in­side the 20,000 ca­pac­ity Set­soto Sta­dium in Maseru.

How­ever, a lit­tle loss of con­cen­tra­tion from the back­line of the seven-time Nige­rian league cham­pi­ons al­lowed the host to half the deficit as Joko­jok­wane scored from a tight an­gle on the 89th min­utes.

Rangers Head Coach, Olug­benga Ogun­bote, said af­ter the en­counter: “It was a great per­for­mance from my play­ers but for the last minute loss of con­cen­tra­tion. It will al­ways get bet­ter”.

He how­ever ad­mit­ted that the Maseru team was not a bad team de­spite con­ced­ing de­feat at home.

“I be­lieve that Bantu is not a bad side but by the spe­cial grace of God we shall fin­ish the job we have started here when we meet again in the re­turn leg at home,” the coach noted.

Cap­tain of the day, God­win Aguda said af­ter the crunch en­counter, “I give God all the glory for this vic­tory. I be­lieve that God’s favour is upon us and we shall con­tinue the good work in Enugu on Sun­day.” Rangers will take on the Le­sotho league cham­pi­ons in the re­turn leg slated for Nnamdi Azikiwe Sta­dium in Enugu on Sun­day, Jan­uary 20, 2019 with the ag­gre­gate win­ner qual­i­fy­ing for the group stage of To­tal Con­fed­er­a­tion Cup 2018/2019.

God­win Aguda of Rangers (left) here chal­lenged by a USMBA of Al­ge­ria player dur­ing the early stage of the CAF Con­fed­er­a­tion Cup. With the win in Maseru, the Fly­ing An­telopes are close to qual­i­fy­ing for the group stage of the com­pe­ti­tion

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