All hail the new NPFL KINGS…Rangers International!
Rangers took no chances in their final push for the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL)title as they went rampant against visiting El-Kanemi by smashing them 4-0 on the last match day of the season played at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu, now nicknamed ‘The Cathedral,’ on Sunday evening.
They had come into the game with one grip on the trophy, being on top of the log with 60 points while their closest rivals, Rivers United was on 57 points but permutations were on that should anything go wrong for Rangers and should Rivers United defeat Akwa United in Uyo, it would be down to checking goals difference, a situation that Rangers did not particularly fancy.
Moreso, the El-Kanemi players had sent a threat, as voiced by their top scorer, Ibrahim Mustapha that they were in Enugu for a revenge, recalling that two seasons ago, they were at the point of victory but it was Rangers that denied them the needed points on the final day.
Given these El-Kanemi pre-match comments, Rangers went for the sledge hammer which they unleashed furiously on El-Kanemi with Chisom Egbuchulam opening score on three minutes from a well executed spot kick.
Osas Okoro made sure to double the lead before the half time while Egbuchulam called again in the middle of the second half following an exhibition of beautiful combination with Obinna Nwobodo and Okoro.
Egbuchulam returned to the box to get his hat-trick after substitute, Ifeanyi Egwim was brought down in the box by El-Kanemi goalkeeper Kazeem Yekeen who was immediately red carded.
The evening in Enugu would represent the most momentous football carnival in the history of Nigerian football with a multitude of joyous fans on hand to celebrate the return of Rangers to glory after 32 years. The atmosphere was indescribable with non-stop replays of Mexican waves and rendition of the club’s anthem, ‘Holy! Holy! Holy! Enugu Rangers, another champion.’
Egwim’s injury however produced a bit of an anti-climax to the celebrations when the ambulance arrived to take him away and news filtered out that the damage to his leg was serious.
Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, we gathered, has ordered that he should be immediately flown abroad for specialist treatment.
Overwhelmed with joy for bringing Rangers back to reckoning, Coach Imama Amapakabo said he was optimistic from the beginning of the season that Rangers will finish with the title and they worked hard for it.
On his future with the club, he said: “It all depends on what the management wants.”
culled from www.npfl.ng