NPFL: Rangers seek positive result at Niger Tornadoes

NPFL By: Ambrose Udeme | 08/04/2018

Smarting from a heart-warming 3-0 victory over NPFL debutants in a re-scheduled Match Day 15 encounter, seven-time Nigerian league champions, Rangers International F.C of Enugu, will on Sunday take on perennial rivals, Niger Tornadoes inside Late Bako Kontagora stadium, Minna with the dream of maintaining their fine form.

The encounter is a Match Day 16 fixture and coach Olugbenga Ogunbote’ wards are in no mood to lower their guards with the defensive duo of Okey Odita and Chibuzor Madu expected to mount charge at the heart of the defence.

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Rangers defensive quartet must be weary of the attacking prowess of Austin Igenepo, Eric Frimpong, Bashir Usman and Abubakar Babawo who have combined to put various teams to the sword in their last five league matches while hoping that veteran goalkeeper, Mustapha Aliko will be made to bear the brunt of inform, Ajani Ibrahim if fielded by the coach of the ‘Flying Antelopes’.

Both teams have nearly equal records in performance in their last six matches with the visitor’s a little above the host’ with three wins and three draws as against three wins, two drawn games and a loss for the Minna side.

Interim coach of the Minna side, Hamza Abdullazeez will be banking on majority of his wards that helped in stopping reigning champions, Plateau United 2-1 and former champions, Kano Pillars, 1-0 and a goalless draw in Maiduguri against El-Kanemi Warriors with Ghanaian enterprising goal poacher, Eric Frimpong and Ibrahim Abubakar Babawo saddled with the task of stopping the rampaging, Rangers.

On the flip side, Coach Ogunbote who described the mid-week victory over Yobe Desert Stars as a step in the right direction towards realizing the dreams of millions of the club’ supporters that wish to see the Enugu side play continental football next season as he will likely rely on the squad that secured the biggest win since the start of the season.

Encounters between both teams in the past have always been tight either in Enugu, Minna or neutral venues with the year 2000 Coca-Cola F.A cup triumph by the Minna side still fresh in the memories of Rangers supporters.

Godwin Aguda is out of this encounter as he only resumed light training this week after he sprained his ankle in the game against Enyimba in Enugu while Shedrack Francis, Semiu Liadi, Godwin Zaki, Ugwu Uwadiegwu will all miss this match.