NPFL: Flying Antelopes Invade Warriors Camp In Umuahia In Search Of Three Points

NPFL: Flying Antelopes Invade Warriors Camp In Umuahia In Search Of Three Points

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By Amaechi Agbo

Umuahia, Abia State capital, will witness a “show of the incomparables” if the nicknames adopted by Nigeria Premier Football League, NPFL clubs should be used as a yardstick to measure their quest for victory in the league.

Like folklores, one would wonder how first of all, an antlope could fly and then shudder on the possibility of such “Flying Antelopes” invading a warriors camp with all his armoury in search of three points…

Such is the situation in the Nigeria league this Sunday as the ‘Flying Antelopes’, Rangers International F.C will storm the Abia State capital, Umuahia, for their matchday 10, ‘Oriental Derby NPFL 2023/2024 clash against Abia Warriors F.C.

Top on the agenda from the visitors is simple – Revenge! And this is why, Abia Warriors intimidated them twice last season

Coming from a home and away losses to the Umuahia side last season, coach Fidelis Ilechukwu and his wards have their work cut out to do a double over the Eastern neighbors in the ‘Oriental Derby’ slated for the Umuahia Township Stadium on Sunday, November 26, 2023.

With fifteen points from nine matches played thus far, coach Ilechukwu and his able lieutenants appreciate the task at hand. They will be targeting the scalp of the Warriors from Umuahia to put back on track their aspirations of a top finish that was shaken by the goalless draw in the last fixture with Katsina United in Awka.

The coaching crew will be banking on the expertise of the likes of Ifeanyi Onyebuchi, Kenneth Igboke, Joel Odoh, and David Chimezie to provide enough coverage for the shot-stopper while Godwin Obaje, Kalu Nweke, Isaac Saviour, Chidiebere Nwobodo and skipper of the side, Chukwudi Nwaodu will be leading the push for the vital goals to earn the club’s first road win of the season.

Coach Ilechukwu in a brief chat ahead of the clash in Umuahia said, “I was told of what happened last season between both teams and we are fired up to pay them back in their own coin. It is not like it would be a stroll in the pack for us. We expect a tough match in Umuahia but our sight is on the maximum points at stake. We can do it and we shall do it.”

With two wins, two drawn games, and a loss in its last five NPFL matches as against two wins and three losses for the Umuahia side, Rangers will be taking the slight edge into this fixture that is expected to be witnessed by a large turnout of followers of the domestic league and supporters of the fierce neighbors.

Going into this fixture, the ‘Flying Antelopes’ occupies the 5th spot on the twenty-team log with 15 points amassed from four wins and three draws while their host, Abia Warriors are placed 12th with twelve points from four wins and five losses which will make this ‘Oriental Derby’ more interesting just as the host enjoys a slight edge over the visitors in the 13 times both sides have clashed on the pitch between 2015 and 2023 with Abia Warriors leading with six wins as against four for Rangers as three others ended in a draw.

Abia Warriors will be banking on the experiences of Ifeanyi Anaemena, Olufemi Thomas, Sharp Uzoigwe, Austin Uzochukwu, Chimezie Njoku, Jimoh Gbadamosi, Daniel Wotlai, Philip Ozor, Emmanuel Onu, Adejoh Ojonugwa, Nonso Nzediegwu, Kelechi Nnochiri, Samson Obi, and a host of others to try and stop one of the top scoring sides in the league that have scored in every league match played except one, this season.

Coach Ilechukwu would be banking on the trio of Kazeem Ogunleye, Godwin Obaje, and Chukwudi Nwaodu to find their scoring boots so as to increase their goals return this term just as midfield maestro, Isaac Saviour and Ejike Ugochukwu to anchor the middle of the pack and occasionally join in the push for the goals at the five thousand capacity, Umuahia Township Stadium.

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