Victor Mbaoma’s brace ensured a comeback win for Enyimba as the People’s Elephant overcame an early setback to beat Rangers 2-1 at the Enyimba Stadium on Sunday.
The in-form striker took his tally to eight in the league, finishing off Adekunle Adeleke’s pass before heading in the winner in the second half to make Ossy Martins’s opener count for nothing.
His goals ensured Enyimba completed the double against their oriental rivals, having won 1-0 in the reverse fixture at the beginning of the season.
In a game demanding a response from Enyimba after the midweek loss to Abia Warriors, Finidi George restored the youthful Tosin Adegbite at centre back while Adekunle Adeleke kept his place in the defensive midfield role as Philip Ozor sat out for the first time this season with a hip problem.
Enyimba were however stunned as the visitors stormed ahead on the quarter-hour when Ossy Martins went round Djeri Bassa to shoot into an empty goal.
When it mattered most, Victor Mbaoma proved again to be Enyimba’s go-to man as he ran to Adeleke’s through ball to chip over Seidu Mutawakilu into the near post to bring the hosts back level.
Emeka Obioma created a moment of magic and was unfortunate to not bag an assist for it when he chested down a long ball, flicked over his marker and sent in a cross that was cleared at the goal-mouth.
Mbaoma missed a chance to put Enyimba in the lead early in the second half when he misfired after Sadiq Abubakar’s lobbed pass, but made amends in the 68th minute when he positioned himself nicely to head in Cyril Olismea’ cross from close range.
Fatai Abdullahi tried to secure Enyimba’s lead as the minutes ticked away but his left-footed take ended in the side-netting. The People’s Elephant did not have much to worry about, though, as substitutes Samuel Stone, Farouk Mohammed and Olisema dropped deep to provide defensive cover and strike out any chance of a late capitulation.