Enugu Rangers coach Gbenga Ogunbote feels disappointed after his side lost to Plateau United 1-0 on Wednesday.
It was a Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) match which was played in Jos.
Speaking to the league’s official website, Ogunbote said his players should have done better on the day.
He said, “I am not happy with our performance this evening. We should have done better than what we displayed.
“Plateau United was not too spectacular though they exhibited why they were crowned champions.
“But I think we should have done better.”
The win took United to the top of the league standings, while Rangers are placed ninth on the table.
On Wednesday it took a 77th minute effort off the head of former Rangers defender, Chizoba Amaefule, to hand the maximum points to Plateau.
Kennedy Boboye led side raced to an early dominance of the game but a well knitted defence line by the visitors made the dominance count for nothing.
Captain Okechukwu Odita, Chibuzor Madu, Tope Olusesi and Isaac Loute were spot on in the early exchanges cutting off supply to Tosin Omoyele and Fortune Omoniwari for any damage.
Rangers could have taken the lead on 16 minutes after Godwin Aguda connected an inch perfect cross from George but Okiemuta Odah was alert to push the goal bound shot against the upright before his defenders cleared for safety.
Tried as much as the CAF Champions league campaigners did, they could not find a way past the visitor’s defence while at the other end, Bright Silas thought he had broken the deadlock with his half volley on 36 minutes but Okiemuta came to the rescue for the host as both teams retired to the dressing room on equal terms.
In the second half, the Enugu side defended more with little opportunities going forward and the introduction of Peter Enerji and Afolabi Abdulrahman by Boboye put more pressure on Rangers.
With Rangers looking good to run away with a draw, coach Boboye introduced Ibeh Johnson for Timothy Ambrose and the substitute’s first contribution from a corner kick found the head of Amaefule inside the box to plant a firm one into the net as the fans went into a wild jubilation.
Plateau coach Boboye said, “It was a tough game against a highly tactical team that came here to play for a draw but we are happy that we got our three points at the end of the day. The win is very important to us even as we go into the next round of our continental matches knowing that we are at the top of the league.”
Amaefule, the goal scorer said, “It is a thing of joy because I scored against my former team, Rangers and the goal gave us all three points. The game was not an easy one as Rangers showed why they were champions two seasons back. No doubt, the journey back from Cameroon took its toll on the team.”
Plateau United: Okiemute Odah, Chizoba Amaefule, Hamisu Sale, Jimmy Ambrose (Ibeh Johnson -75th min.), Elisha Golbe, Ogene Elijah, King Osanga (Peter Eneji -62nd min.), Raphael Ayagwa, Tosin Omoyele, Fortune Omoniwari ( Afolabi Abdulwaheed – 62nd min.), Sunday Mgbede.
Subs not used: Dele Ajiboye, Terna Suswam, Ibrahim Akide, Amos Gyang.
Caution: Hamisu Sale – 21st minute.
Goal: Chizoba Amaefule -77th minute.
Rangers: Femi Thomas, Tope Olusesi, Isaac Loute, Christian Madu, Chibuzor Madu, Okechukwu Odita, Bright Silas, Solomon Okpako, Ifeanyi George (Kelvin Itoya -78th min.), Chiamaka Madu (Ajani Ibrahim -87th min.), Godwin Aguda (Richard Jonathan -89th min.).
Subs not used: Nana Bonsu, Pape Ousmane, Ugwu Uwadiegwu, Ugonna Anyora.
Cautions: Tope Olusesi -83rd min., Christian Madu – 47th min., Chibuzor Madu -38th min. Ifeanyi George -72nd min.
Referee: Marcus Bwashi – Bauchi.