Nigeria Premier League

‘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

We must accept defeat to Akwa United, says Enugu Rangers’ Ogunbote

Having watched his side bow to their hosts in Uyo, the gaffer says the Flying Antelopes must display good sportsmanship

Enugu Rangers head coach Gbenga Ogunbote believes his side’s must ‘accept’ in good faith their 2-0 defeat against Akwa United at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium.

Ogunbote suffered defeat in his first competitive match charge of the Flying Antelopes no thanks to goals from Kelly Kester and Dennis Nya for the hosts on Sunday.

But the tactician is unmoved as he is confident his side will bounce back when they face Lobi Stars in their next encounter at the Nnamdi Azikwe Stadium on Wednesday.

Culled by Ike Onwubuya


Enyimba hold Rangers to a 1-1 draw in Enugu

Enugu – Rangers International Football Club of Enugu and Enyimba International FC of Aba on Sunday drew 1-1 draw in a week 37 match of the 2016/2017 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
The visiting Enyimba surprised the hosts with good resilience from the first to the last blast of the referee’s whistle in the match played at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in Enugu.

The visitors even put much more pressure on their hosts in the opening minutes, resulting in a penalty kick for them in the 23rd minute, which Ikechukwu Ibenegwu brilliantly converted. Rangers fought back in the second half, forcing the visitors to commit a defensive blunder in the 87th minute for a penalty kick which Chibuzo Madu converted for the equaliser. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Rangers’ fans wildly celebrated the equaliser, after having lost all hopes of their team coming back into the match. Speaking later, Rangers’ Team Manager, Ameobi Ezeaku, thanked the fans for believing in the team even in a difficult match. Ezeaku, however, said the match was a difficult one for his team, praising his players for fighting relentlessly to get the draw. Enyimba’s coach Gbenga Ogunbote, on his part, said it was painful for him that a last-minute defensive blunder cost his team victory and the three maximum points. “It is unfortunate that we did not clinically conclude this match. However, our goal of picking a ticket to play on the continent in 2018 will be pursued to the last match,’’ Ogunbote assured.(NAN)


Enugu Rangers’ striker, Bobby Clement his delighted that the Flying Antelopes have sealed their topflight status after their first away win against Remo Stars after a turbulent season.The Flying Antelopes’ players and officials were highly praised last season after they won the league title but the team went from good to worse barely a season thereafter as they exited the Caf Champions League and the Caf Confederation Cup which they were later demoted to at the early stages and their form in the league then too was very abysmal.

But Clement who made goal scoring return to the team after some time on the sideline said that their road win in Shagamu against the Sky Blue Stars has given Rangers’ players the motivational push to approach their remaining two games without the additional pressure of still being scrutinized over their status in the elite division at the end of the season.