NPFL: Rangers, Enyimba rekindle rivalry at The Cathedral - FCNaija

NPFL By: Ambrose Udeme | 10/03/2018

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 former teammates as no fewer then six players that may likely feature for 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.