Rangers FC 2022 NPFL Season: Analyses, Title Miss And 2022 Projection

Rangers FC 2022 NPFL Season: Analyses, Title Miss And 2022 Projection

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By Sobenna Nwagbo.

The 2020/2021 Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL season has come and gone and Rangers, International FC, aka The Flying Antelopes, seven-time champions of the league and the second most successful team in the league’s history had every reason to be happy though with pockets of unfulfilled targets and expectations which not uncommon in the game of football.

It is the first time the league is running a full calendar season uninterrupted or abridged in four years

Enugu Rangers Football Club of Enugu on Thursday 5th August, 2021 ended the Nigeria Professional Football League 2020/2021 season with a 2 – 0 win against the visiting Plateau United Football Club of Jos at the Main bowl of Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium (the Cathedral) Enugu.

The two goals were scored in the first and second half of the game respectively. First goal came from the Captain of the day, Traore Issif in 7th minutes with a nodding following a free kick from Chiamaka Madu. The second goal came at the 76th minutes of play from Ibrahim Olawoyin after a successful dazzle run from outside 18yard box, displeasing the defense line of Usman Aminu and Ikefe Andre of Plateau United to displace the helpless Goalkeeper – Panshak Silas.

Abdul Maikaba, Coach of Plateau United in a post match interview said, “Rangers is a good team everyday, today is not an exception. One of the ancient clubs in Nigeria”. When asked about officiating, he said, “fantastic. I have nothing to argue on that”.

On position of his contract with Plateau United, he said, “I will first go back home, rest, prepare my Technical Report and submit to the Management of Plateau United, then I will be available for any team that may need my services because my contract with the team has expired”.

Rangers ended the league 7 on the table

On any regrets, Maikaba said, “I regret not qualifying the team for a continental ticket. My target was to either lift the trophy or at least qualify for continental engagement”.

Rangers International Football Club of Enugu ended the 2020/2021 season on a seventh (7) position. A position Rangers occupied for almost one Month despite all the matches played, the position remained consistent, considering the outcome of matches involving clubs on first to sixth position.

On the Matchday 36, the season’s trophy was handed over to Akwa United Football Club of Uyo, considering their six points ahead of the second (Nassarawa) at the time.

Rangers played a total of 38 matches like every other team, won 18, lost 12 and drew 8 matches. The result brought Rangers to 7th position on the log with 62 points behind Rivers United – 63, Kano Pillars – 64, Nassarawa United 65, Kwara United – 65, Enyimba – 66, and the league Champion Akwa United – 71 points.

Ordinarily, Enyimba of Aba having defeated Dakkada on the last match at Uyo, should be second on the log with 66 points. But 10 minutes into the final game, report of Disciplinary Committee of the League Management Company came out. The report indicted the Jigawa Golden Stars for fielding an ineligible player in their match against Rivers United.

The Committee therefore awarded 3 goals and 3 points to Rivers United as the LMC legal framework explains. The implication is that when the three points and three goals are added to Rivers United, the club will emerge second. Further to that, Rivers United will be playing in CAF Champions League along with Akwa United, and Enyimba will now play in CAF Confederation Cup with Aiteo(FA) Cup winners.

After the last match on Thursday that signaled the end of the season, the General Manager, Prince Davidson Owumi in a meeting with Technical crew, Players and Management of Rangers International Football Club of Enugu thanked everyone for their individual contributions that resulted in the team not going for relegation. But regretted not lifting the trophy this year because of some challenges, and promised that next season would not be far from Rangers.

According to Owumi, “this will be the last time some of us will seat down together as Team Mates because some players contract with the Club has expired, some will be dropped because of poor performance and some may join a higher Club. We wish you well. As you travel home for holiday, be careful and train too”.

The Technical Department of the Club will in one week release their Technical report for the year and Management of Rangers will in turn communicate the Players on the status of their stay in Rangers based on the Technical report.

The finals of the Aiteo (FA) Cup final was played on Sunday 8th August, 2022. at the Samuel Ogbomudia Stadium, Benin City between Nassarawa United Football Club of Lafia and Bayelsa United Football Club of Yenegoa.

At the end of 90 minutes, the goal score was 2 – 2 and as the tradition requires, the two teams headed for penalty which eventually favoured Bayelsa United with 2(3) – 2(2) win against Nassarawa United.
Bayelsa United and Enyimba/Kwara United will represent Nigeria in CAF Confederation Cup this season.

Rangers General Manager, Davidson Owumi

Within the season winding out, four(4) Rangers players were invited to represent Nigeria in Team B (home-based Supper Eagles) that played a friendly match at California, United State of America with Mexico Team.

The players are; Tope Olusesi, Tony Shimaga, Ibrahim Olawoyin and Chinonso Eziekwe. It would be worthy to note that many clubs in Nigeria did not have a representative, others who had, had one or two. But Rangers produced four(4) players.

The Coach of Rangers, Salisu Yusuf is highly rated as one of the best Coaches from Nigeria and one of the possible replacements for the National Team Coach Genot Rorh, or possible Assistant.

Rangers General Manager, Prince Davidson Owumi was on Sunday 8th, August in Benin at the Extraordinary Congress of Nigeria Football Federation ratified as the new Chief Executive Officer of the League Management Company of Nigeria to replace Nduka Irabo who resigned his appointment years ago.

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