Enugu Rangers, yesterday defeated Rivers United 1-0 in a Nigeria Professional Football League game decided in Enugu.
Chinonso Eziekwe scored the lone goal shortly before half time
The goal on 39 minutes came off a devastating counter attack as United failed to make the most of a free kick won deep in the Rangers half moments earlier.
The Port Harcourt club stay in second place on the standings but are now four points off top spot after the leaders, Plateau United overcame Nasarawa United 2-1 in Jos.
United were distinctly second best against a Rangers team that could have won more handsomely if they had converted the plethora of chances that fell their way.
Rangers dominated the early exchanges but had to wait until the ninth minute for their first real goal-scoring opportunity.
It fell to Israel Abia who was teed up brilliantly by Eziekwe.
Abia struck hard enough from close range but saw his effort easily saved by the Rivers United goalkeeper, Drissa Bamba.
Two minutes later, United had a glorious opportunity to take the lead when Stephen Gopey raced into the Rangers box with poise and intent.
He however chose the wrong option of passing to Ogbonna Onuoha, who was in an offside position, rather than aim to score himself.
A minute later, the visitors came close again as Gopey shot into the side netting after brilliantly being set up by Esor.
Rangers then steadied the ship after the momentary blip and retook control of proceedings.
Two minutes before the 20-ninute mark, they (Rangers) came agonisingly close to putting their noses in front when Eziekwe just about failed to reach a teasing delivery from a set piece which Bamba made a futile attempt to punch away from the penalty area.
The slightest of touches from the Rangers man would have seen the United net bulge and the United goalkeeper would have been clearly culpable.
Assistant coach of Rangers International, Mangut Mbwas said: “We worked so hard and everything we did (worked out)”.
Rivers United have now amassed 42 points from 24 points and will next face Warri Wolves in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.