2021 NPFL WK 26: Rangers Face Lobi In Makurdi As Pressure On Continental Ticket Mounts
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By Amaechi Agbo
After they battled from behind to snap a point from visiting MFM FC in the week 25 encounter in Enugu on Sunday, Rangers International FC is under immense pressure to bounce back to winning ways if their quest to pick a continental ticket is anything to go by.
The seven-time Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL winners are currently 4 points away from the continental slot while they also lie a further 9 points off the table toppers, Kano Pillars
The Technical adviser of the side, Coach Salisu Yusuf and his wards are in the capital city of ‘The Food Basket of the Nation’, Makurdi with as they take on Lobi Stars F.C in a match day 26, NPFL 2021 fixture inside Aper Aku stadium on Wednesday, June 9, 2021.
The ‘Flying Antelopes’ are seeking the scalp of the coach Kabiru Dogo’ wards after the Makurdi based side denied them two points when both sides clashed earlier in a match day 6 encounter at ‘The Cathedral’ which ended in a pulsating goalless draw despite the Makurdi side playing the last twelve minutes of the encounter with a man less.
Coach Yusuf who has his eyes fixed at ending the season as champions of the season is optimistic of getting the job done as his wards are in the right frame of mind to grab the maximum points at stake in the fixture despite been pegged back at the weekend at home by visitors, M.F.M in a match day 25 fixture.
“I strongly believe that we shall get a positive result in Makurdi even when we are not underrating our opponent, Lobi Stars. They are a good side under a quality coach but we have our target set for us and we are motivated to make the visit to Makurdi count. Don’t forget that they denied us a win when they visited us even when we dominated proceedings. We have worked hard in training ahead of this encounter and with divine grace, we shall get the result we want,” stated the experienced tactician.
The coach will most likely feature his trusted backline ably led by defense Trojan, Uche John and former Lobi stars defender, Ernest Governor to provide enough coverage for Ghanaian shot stopper, Seidu Mutawakilu from expected bombardment from Ossy Martins, John Lazarus, Ozor Chinedu, Monday Akile and former ‘Antelope’, Nnamdi Egbujuo while Charles Tiesso, Chiamaka Madu and Ugochukwu Ugwuoke will have to display dominance over Onuwa Chukwuka and Tsehuan Moses to ensure mission is accomplished.
Ernest Governor said of the fixture, “It is not going to be a do or die affair but we are in Makurdi to redeem our names. The least we expect here is a draw but our target is to pick the maximum points to assuage for the weekend’ dropped two points at home.”
After twenty-five rounds of matches in the 2020/2021 NPFL season, Rangers occupy the 6th position on the log with 39 points from 24 games prosecuted while Lobi Stars occupy the 8th position with 37 points from 25 matches.
Rangers last played continental football in the 2019/2020 season after they failed to progress in the group stage of the competition.
They played 6 matches, lost two, drew 3 and won one in a Group A that had two Egyptians clubs, Pyramids and Al-Masry as well as FC Nouadhibou of Mauritania