The Biggest game on the planet: Rangers International lock horns with Enyimba FC

The rivalry reignite this weekend in Enugu

With seven domestic league titles apiece and a measure of dominance on the continental scene with two and one triumphs, ‘Oriental Landlords’, Rangers International and Enyimba International will this weekend inside Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium ‘The Cathedral’ test each other for the bragging rights.

It is Match Day 12 encounter of NPFL 2018 season and all the fanfares associated with previous debacles will be present as the ‘Flying Antelopes’ try to outsmart the visiting ‘Peoples Elephant’ from neighbouring Aba, Abia state.

Starting from a valuable 1-1 draw in a match day 11 encounter with Sunshine Stars in Akure in the past week, Coach Olugbenga Ogunbote’ wards are rearing to go for the juggler of the two-time CAF Champions league winner that was last coached by the Ogun state born tactician.

This top of the bill encounter is like a conviviality of teammates makes as no fewer then six players that may likely feature on both sides had at one point in their career played for the opposing side.


Coach Ogunbote may likely rely on ex-Enyimba players in his fold to do the damage against his former wards as he targets all three points to enhance his team’ chances of playing continental football next season.

Two seasons back when Rangers emerged champions of the league, It was a 2-1 win for the Enugu side in a week nine fixture while the return leg ended 1-1 in Enyimba’ adopted Port-Harcourt home ground but last season, the Aba giants had the last laugh triumphing 1-0 in Calabar and picking a 1-1 draw in a match day 37 encounter at the ‘Cathedral’.

Down memory lane, at no time has any fixture between the two football giants ignited less fire from their fans, coaches, supporters, players and top management staffs.

In his first romance with Rangers, despite a very lean resources at his disposal, Prince Davidson Owumi have always stood like a ‘Rock of Gilbreta’ against the strong financial muscles at the disposal of Chief Felix Anyansi-Agwu while the blue waves of the visiting fans will always draw admirations with the home fans’ red and white large flags adorning almost a third of the twenty-five thousand capacity stadium.

Enyimba will be coming for this encounter full of confidence after a well deserved 2-0 victory in Cotonou in a CAF Confederation cup game with coach Paul Aigbogun likely to throw a first start in the league to mercurial midfielder, Ikechukwu Ibenegbu to steady the midfield for the Elephants while Ghanaian shot stopper Dauda Fatau will keep his place between the sticks with the duo of Ifeanyi Anaemena and Nelson Ogbonna sitting at the heart of the defence while Stanley Dimgba and Chinonso Okonkwo will lead the attack.

Ifeanyi George, a former Enyimba player who top scored last season for the ‘Flying Antelopes’ with six goals after joining mid-season is optimistic of carrying on from where he stopped last week in Akure stressing, “Anyday, Enyimba is a good side but I believe we are a better side today. My trying periods are over and I am focussed at delivering the goods which, by God’s grace, shall continue Sunday in Enugu. We fear no foe.”

Former Rangers dribbling wizard, Chinedu Udeagha said in a chat, “With the result we got in Cotonou on Wednesday, I see us picking all points at stake or we secure a draw. Enugu had been a home to me for the past seven seasons but I have a new home and club that pays my wages and I am ready to defend the Blue colours of Enyimba with the last drop of my blood. It will be a tough match but we shall leave Enugu with our heads held high.”

Rangers gaffer, coach Ogunbote while taking a view of the upcoming debacle said, “There is nothing really big about the match except that whether we like it or not, we have to play and fortunately or unfortunately, it has to be against my former club, Enyimba also it is an oriental derby. All we have to do is take our chances because ninety minutes will decide. I am not under any pressure and have never been under any pressure all through my career only what people may call pressure is how to actualize my set target and I believe that we shall start getting it right from Enyimba’ game.”



DATE: MARCH 11, 2018.