Nigeria Premier League

‘We must want what we get’ – Enugu Rangers’ Ogunbote satisfied with Wikki Tourist draw

Gbenga Ogunbote said he is satisfied with a point secured by his Enugu Rangers side after a 1-1 draw against Wikki Tourist in Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium, Bauchi on Sunday.

Having trashed the Giant Elephants 3-0 a week ago, the Flying Antelopes extended their unbeaten run to four matches and were desperate to maintain their form against Bala Nikyu’s side.

However, the visitors’ quest of securing a positive result was almost dashed when the hosts gained the lead courtesy Usman Manu after 15 minutes of the game to the joy of the home fans.

Meanwhile, Tope Olusesi leveled matters in the 35th minute after goalkeeper Pius Ibrahim failed to deal with Isaac Loute’s cross to hand Ogunbote’s side their fifth draw away this season.

And the former Enyimba tactician, who harboured dreams of winning, felt both sides shared the spoils because Wikki were desperate to another defeat at their hands.

“When we cannot get what you need, we must want what we get against Wikki Tourist,” Ogunbote told media.

“Getting a point on the road in the second round was a not outing though we came with hopes of winning we must accept the result. I think that they were under pressure from any team and I believe they played better at our home than they did here.

“I understand the pressure of playing at home and any team could be in this circumstance. They just played dirty to make they don’t lose in the worst situation but they are not a bad side.

“They have young and talented players, and of course a very good coach too. But playing a team that just defeated them 3-0 just a week ago will definitely put them on pressure.”

After the stalemate,  Enugu Rangers are now sixth with 29 points from 20 matches this season.


Tornadoes’ Ibrahim Babawo delighted with goal against Rangers

Niger Tornadoes Ibrahim Babawo is happy to have scored the winning goal against Rangers on Sunday but happier his side won a tough game against Rangers.

Ibrahim Babawo’s goal in the 17th minute was all Niger Tornadoes needed to defeat Enugu Rangers in a Matchday 16 fixture in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) at the Bako Kontagora Stadium in Minna on Sunday.

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Despite a late Rangers rally, Tornadoes held on for the three points in a game Babawo described as a very difficult game.

“It was hard. Very hard for us but I’m happy we got the three points at stake because Rangers are a very tough side to play whether home or away,” he told after the game.

“I’m happy I scored but much happier we got the three points today (Sunday). I missed the team when I went to Egypt and I’m glad to be back to help the team.”

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Ibrahim Babawo also promised that he and his teammates will keep working hard to ensure his side finish in a good position on the log and a place for a continental football next season.

“We will keep working hard to make sure we do better as the league progresses. Hopefully, we shall get a continental ticket at the end of the season.”

By: Tope Adefala

Culled from by Ike Onwubuya

Nigerian League Round-Up: Five home teams get controversial penalties

March 25, 2018Tunde Eludini

Lobi Stars required a penalty kick in the last minute of stoppage time to secure a 3-2 win over Rivers United in their Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Match Day 14 tie in Makurdi on Sunday.

The game, played at the Aper Aku Stadium, looked like it will end in a stalemate before the host were given a penalty (second in the match) in stoppage time. This was converted by Austin Ogunye.

The victory recorded by Lobi Stars saw them increase their points tally to 26 after 14 games as they stay top for another week.

In Owerri, there was another late penalty drama as Heartland piped Nasarawa United 2-1 at the Dan Ayiam stadium.

Nasarawa United team manager, Solomon Babanja, bemoaned the manner in which his side lost to Heartland in Owerri on Sunday.

According to him, he had never seen such officiating in his life.

“I am not a happy man today, why will a man that is supposed to do justice to the game end up to be a killjoy?

“The Coaches did a good job to prepare the team for this game but look at what the man from Ondo state did to deny the efforts of my boys with two dubious penalty calls gifting the home side the win.”

The long-serving team manager added that he would appeal to the LMC to look into the game again stating that if officiating continues like this then, “we will never reach the promised land as expected”.

The late penalty drama also played out in the Go Round Fc and Enugu Rangers tie with the home team needing a dying minute spot kick to rescue a 2-2 draw against the Flying Antelopes.

In all, seven penalties kicks were given to five home teams in the NPFL matches today.

Five of those penalties were awarded when the home teams were losing or drawing and three were very late in extra time.

Away from the penalty dramas, the NPFL Match Day 14 games produced 29 goals; the most this season in any Match Day.

NPFL Results

Heartland 2-1 Nasarawa Utd

Lobi 3-2 Rivers Utd

Akwa Utd 1-1 Abia Warriors

Wikki 3-0 El-Kanemi

FCIU 3-0 Plateau Utd

Kwara Utd 2-1 Kano Pillars

Tornadoes 1-0 Sunshine Stars

Yobe DS 1-1 Enyimba

Go Round 2-2 Rangers

MFM 2-1 Katsina Utd


Goals:- 29

Home Wins:- 7

Draws:- 3

Home Goals:- 20

Away Goals:- 9

Culled from by Ike Onwubuya

‘I love defeating my former teams’ – Enugu Rangers’ Ogunbote relishes Enyimba victory

The Flying Antelopes secured their first win in four meetings with the People’s Elephants and the gaffer is pleased subduing his former side

Gbenga Ogunbote is delighted after Enugu Rangers recorded a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Enyimba at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium on Sunday.

Prior to the encounter, the Flying Antelopes were without a win in their last three league games and had hoped to bounce back against the People’s Elephants.

Luckily, Bright Silas’ fifth-minute header was all the Enugu based side required to earn their first win in four games against Paul Aigbogun’s men.

And Ogunbote, who steered the Aba giants to the Caf Confederation Cup spot last season, admits joy after he led his side to victory over his former employers in an oriental derby.

“It was a derby and we saw the quality of the derby in it,” he told Goal.

“It was a difficult one for me and I expected it. You must realize that I was the former coach of Enyimba last season and they were coming to play against me for the first time.

“It was beyond playing against Rangers for them, so they wanted to do everything to make sure they win. Like I told the players before the game that they must raise their game and play for me and not Rangers this time around.

“I thank God it turned out well. It was just like any other game, though I love defeating my former team when I play them.”

“I try as much as I can, not celebrate it. It was a good one because it shows you were a factor when you were there,” he continued.

“It is not the first time because I’ve been in the kind of system for a long time. Derbies are always difficult and the fans are not always patience because they want their team to win.

“But of course, it was a good one for Enugu Rangers because we were able to manage that one goal, though in a derby game you don’t expect a huge number of goals the one we got, we were able to defend it and got the three points.”

Culled from Goal.Com by Ike Onwubuya

Ogunbote: Hard work and self-belief is the tonic at Rangers

Enugu Rangers manager Gbenga Ogunbote has revealed the secret to his side’s three-game unbeaten run in the wake of Sunday’s Premier League win over El Kanemi Warriors.Substitute, Kelvin Itoya’s late sublime strike was the difference in the match Day 8 NPFL encounter as Rangers ran away with all three points at to continue the club’ dominance over visiting El-Kanemi Warriors at the Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium in the past five seasons.

Speaking to the media after the encounter, Ogunbote who led Enyimba to a CAF Confederations Cup spot last term said: “It was a tough match and we thank God for the victory. It was a hard-earned victory.

“We expected it because when you play against your former team, you want to do everything to prove points but all the same, it was a very good game. I was too sure that I was going to win the game even when it was still barren going into the last ten minutes of the game.

“Hard work and self-belief have been the tonic been preached to the players going into more matches but I must stress that this is a team still in the making.” Ogunbote told in Enugu

Up next for the 2016 NPFL Champions is an away to current title holders Plateau United on Sunday, February 18 at the Jos International Stadium.

Euro returnees Ogbuke, Anyora inspire Enugu Rangers to beat Katsina United

Enugu Rangers Europe returnee Felix Ogbuke has told he has refilled enough gas to fire from all cylinders after making his return debut in the NPFL Matchday 4 thriller against rampant Katsina United at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in Enugu Wednesday.

“It is good to get back. I really feel good. It is like I just warmed up, so I now have the gas to flow”, Ogbuka said.

Ogbuke drew loud applause after rising from the bench to come into the fray as coach Gbenga Ogunbote withdraws Ifeanyi George after 65 minutes.

Rangers will travel to Nasarawa United for this weekend’s Matchday 5 clash with the former youth international hoping to enjoy more playing time.

“We will be away to Nasarawa United on Sunday, so I expect to be better and play more,” he said.

Former U23 Olympic Eagles winger Felix Ogbuke and Ugonna Anyora made their Enugu Rangers return debut as ‘The Flying Antelopes claimed a pyrrhic 1-0 win over impressive Katsina United in this NPFL thriller at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium.

Ogbuke starred for 25 minutes in the game after coming on for Ifeanyi George on 65 minutes, just as Anyora who came on for Chiamaka Madu enjoyed 36 minutes playing time.

The third Europe returnee, Okeke Chukwuebuka, was an unused sub.

But it was Anyora who made an instant impact as he brought life and spark back into Rangers, spraying precise passes like a fleeing porcupine.

Godwin Aguda emerged hero on the night when he headed into the top corner after Katsina United goalkeeper ex-junior international Dami Paul murderously failed to deal properly with Itoya Kevin’s cross, dropping the ball for advancing Aguda to net his first goal of the season for Rangers.

It was an open and keen contest with both sides sharing equal wasted scoring chances.

Ifeanyi George was the worst culprit, directing his effort over the crossbar on 32 minutes after he was played through on goal by Bright Silas.

Rangers should have taken the lead on the dot of half time, but captain Okey Odita could not bring his head low to nod into the net on the near post from Aguda delivery following a corner kick.

By Sab Osuji

Culled by Ike Onwubuya


Enugu Rangers defeat Heartland in Oriental derby

Enugu Rangers were winners on the road in the Oriental derby in Owerri.

Heartland 0 – 1 Enugu Rangers

Enugu Rangers got their first win of the season in fine style, securing a vital away victory at Heartland, in the second Oriental derby of the season.

Bright Silas scored the winner in the 10th-minute to secure a win for the Flying Antelopes, which takes them into 16th on the log.

The outcome could have been different for Heartland had Lucky Emariojake converted a first-half penalty, which hit the frame of the goal. That missed spot kick means the Owerri-based club still await their first goal of the season and are in 18th-place.

Culled from by Ike Onwubuya