Coach Salisu Yusuf tutored side, Enugu Rangers International Football Club Wednesday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium defeated Rivers United Football Club of Port Harcourt 2-0 to lift the second edition of Ifeanyi Ekwueme Preseason tournament.
Rangers qualified for the finals having defeated Pxel Football Club of Asaba and Apex Krane Football Club of Agbor, Delta State. Meanwhile, Rivers United also qualified for the finals having defeated Engas Football Club of Enugu and Godowski Football Club of Onitsha.
Rivers United and Rangers started the finals with their regular players aside Chiamaka Madu who was converted to Defensive Midfielder with absence of the Rangers regulars as a result of injuries. Rangers first attempt at the Rivers post in 11th minutes by Christian Nnaji was halted by Theophilus Afolakai. Rangers continued pressing the Rivers side but was met with fantastic saves from their Goalkeeper until 27th minutes when Chinonso Eziekwe who initiated the passes found himself again at a vantage position and scored in an open net before the Goalkeeper located himself close to the other side.
In second half, Chinonso Eziekwe who dribbled Rivers Defenders from midfield through the left hand side to the 18 yard box was brought down and the arbiter signalled for a penalty. The penalty was converted to a goal by Dauda Madaki Alkali.
In the competition, Kenechukwu Agu, Ugochukwu Ugwuoke, Israel Abia also scored for Rangers. At the price given ceremony, the organisers named Ugochukwu Ugwuoke as the man with Golden boot while Kenechukwu Agu was the Most Valuable Player.
In a post-match interview, Rivers United Coach, Stanley Eguma blamed his loss to the organisers of the competition citing lateness in commencement of the game. According to him, “this is a match that was supposed to start by 9am, but we started 11. You can see that the sun and the field affected our game. But we lost today is not the matter. Why we are here is to access our players to shape us for our continental engagement and I think we have seen some mistakes. We will now go and make corrections”.