Enugu Rangers chief coach Mbwas Mangut believes the Flying Antelopes were unlucky to drop points at home to MFM FC on matchday 25 of the Nigeria Professional Football League.
Rangers needed an 83rd-minute equaliser from substitute Ugochukwu Ugwuoke to ensure a share of the spoils after MFM had looked on the way to a shock win at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium courtesy of Chimezie Izuchukwu’s delightful 69th-minute lob over Rangers goalkeeper Seidu Mutawakilu.
It was the second time in three matches that Rangers have dropped points at home and Salisu Yusuf’s side have now won just once in their last five games to fall nine points behind leaders Kano Pillars in the title race.
Rangers were strangely subdued in the opening half but ended the match on top after Yusuf tweaked their formation in the second half and introduced the quartet of Israel Abia, Chinonso Eziekwe, goalscorer Ugwuoke and Kenechukwu Agu.
It took a world-class save by Adeniyi Bamidele in goal for MFM to deny Eziekwe a last-minute winner as MFM held firm to record a second 1-1 draw with Rangers in the NPFL this season and make it six games without defeat for the Lagos side.
The result kept Rangers sixth on 39 points while MFM stay four points behind in 10th place.
Mangut says the change in tactics improved his side following their poor start but attributed their inability to make their dominance towards the end count to bad luck.
“We started a little bit slowly, in the second half when we made some changes in tactics, the second half was a little better we were able to convert the equaliser and I think the team was positive towards the second half just that we were not lucky to have the day.”
The Flying Antelopes travel to Lobi Stars for matchday 26 round of fixtures and Mangut hopes they can make up for Sunday’s dropped points in Makurdi.
“We planned to get the maximum points but in football, sometimes you might not get everything you plan for but we pray that we can recover [these] dropped points.”