Plains Rangers AFC
18 July 2020
Plains Rangers men 3, Otumoetai Special Reserve 2
Plains Rangers women 3, Tauranga City 0 (defaulted)
Plains Rangers emerged victorious from a hard fought battle in the last seconds of their BOP division two game against Otumoetai Special Reserve on Saturday. Rangers were at home, with the Edgecumbe pitch a bit tricky to play on and missing a couple of important players. Rangers got their passing game going in patches, but were not consistent in the first half. However, they were unlucky to go behind when an Otumoetai free kick took a deflection and ended up in the Rangers' net. The home team were stung and three minutes later Sione Lotu scored with a nice solo run from the right to bury the ball in the visitors' goal. At half time the game was in the balance at 1 – 1. Player-coach Christian Wetting exhorted his troops to have better execution of their work in the second half.
The resumption saw the increasingly physical challenges resume as the two teams tried to get the upper hand. Midway through the half Rangers' captain James Hart scored with a fierce drive from 20 metres to put his side ahead. Rangers had the better of the game at this point and it took a superb save by the Otumoetai keeper to keep his team in it. Lotu was put through the defence and hit his shot well, but the keeper dived to palm it away. The visitors were not done. Five minutes later they had an equaliser when their striker deftly touched a cross into the Rangers' goal. A final twist of fate came five minutes into injury time. Rangers won a free kick outside the penalty area. Hart hit the shot along the ground and it somehow squirmed under the well-performed Otumoetai keeper and into the goal. The final score: Plains Rangers 3 Otumoetai 2.
Carl Imlig's strong game at centre back earned him player of the day, with James Hart and Sione Lotu also in top form. This Saturday Plains Rangers men are away to Tauranga City.
Sadly, Plains Rangers women didn't play on Sunday. They won their game against Tauranga City by default. This weekend they are away to Waiariki in Rotorua.