Diamond Football Academy played out a goalless draw in a crunch encounter with former NPFL Champions Enugu Rangers in a Pre Season Friendly ,at the Abakilike township stadium on Friday, November 27,2020.
Head coach, Salisu Yusuf gave the nod for the pair of Abia Israel and Ajayi Femi to lead the two-man attack but tried as they did with supplies from the trio of Chiamaka Madu, Esor Achibong and Ugwuoke Ugochukwu, the boys of coach Chijioke Osuagwu held tight at the back.
The match saw Diamond Football Academy lads produce a number of brilliance performance to a most adjudged formidable side ,Enugu Rangers in terms of pedigree.
Seven-time Nigeria league champions, Rangers FC did everything right but found it hard to bury any of the numerous chances created as Umuahia based, Diamond Football Academy, did well to run away with a goalless draw in a pre-season friendly encounter played on Friday in Abakaliki.
Abia had the best opportunity to score on 23 minutes after he was put through on goal with a defense splitting pass from Ugochukwu but the goalkeeper for the opponents, Ebuka, made himself big enough to stop his effort.
The second stanza saw a much hungrier approach from the premiership side as the chances created came quick and fast but goalkeeper, Ebuka who was phenomenal constantly denied the former Champions those exceprional moment when Rangers thought they have arrived on goals
Ebuka’s reflexes of the ball became fancied to the amazement of all when Nnamdi Egbujuo and Ifegwu Ojukwu both watched their goal-bound efforts blocked out by him in the 80th and 89th minutes of the game.
At the hour mark, an Osas Okoro curly shot beat all but hit the crossbar to the relief of the Umuahia side while ten minutes later, a well drilled shot from Daniel Vendaga was scrambled out by the alert backline for the coach Osuagwu side.
Osuagwu expressed excitment for his wards whom he said played to instructions against a side with pedigree, Rangers International.
Rangers Coach Salish Yusuf on his part, described the encounter as a good one as he continues to mould the ‘Flying Antelopes’ into a side to challenge for all trophies in the coming season,while he maintained that the youthful team of Diamond Football Academy represent generation of quality players that Nigerian national teams needs to excel .
The President of Diamond Football Academy Hon. Martin Ikechukwu Apugo who led the team expressed optimism that the young players will make them proud if given another opportunity to strike.