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NPFL: Ibadan agog as traditional rivals Shooting Stars, Rangers tango

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Football fans are expected to be entertained at the Lekan Salami Stadium, Ibadan when the visiting side, Rangers International and home side and eternal rivals, Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) tango  in a matchday 16, NPFL 2021/2022 fixture for the three points at stake.

The encounter will happen on Wednesday, March 2, 2022, and coach Abdul Maikaba and his wards are targeting the three points at stake to enhance their chances of ending the season on a high.

The ‘Flying Antelopes’ occupy the 4th spot of the log with 24 points from fifteen matches while their host, 3SC is in the 12th position on the log with 19 points from the same number of matches.

As has always been the case whenever the setting pitches these crowd-pulling teams as was witnessed forty-five years ago (1977) inside the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna, when it was a 2nd leg, semi-final, African Champions cup encounter with the likes of Segun Odegbami and Best Ogedemgbe leading the blue side against Chairman Christian Chukwu and Emmanuel Okala leading the sparkling white side.

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Coach Abdul Maikaba and the current squad understand what is at stake and have upped their game to ensure that the three points at stake come back to Enugu as he said exclusively, “This is a top of the bill encounter that is laced with a lot of tradition and we are going to Ibadan to give out our best and ensure we come back with something to cheer. I am aware that encounter between both teams is always a derby dating back to many years and we expect the crowd to come out and see quality football on display.”

Just as coach Edith Agoye of 3SC will be relying on such star performers as Sunday Faleye, Daniel Kolawole, Okeowo Oluwaseyi, Abbey Benson, Sunday Akleche, and a host of others, coach Maikaba has a formidable squad to do a perfect selection from with such stars as Kenechukwu Agu, Julius Ikechukwu, Shedrack Asiegbu, Christian Nnaji, Elijah Ani, Tope Olusesi and others.

Going by current form, the gaffers of both sides would have wished for a much better performance as against the D, L, W, W, D for the ‘Flying Antelopes’ while the home side, the ‘Oluyole Warriors’ home form has been intimidating over the last five matches with a D, W, W, W, D form which may scare any side but Rangers’ captain, Tope Olusesi said going into the fixture, “It will be a game of two top rivals and we are prepared and motivated to do the needful and come out with our heads held high. We have a very good form on the road which was just broken recently by Rivers United and we have resolved to start another series of the good runs which will start in Ibadan by God’s grace. We are used to matches being played under floodlight hence, it will not be a problem for a greater number of the squad.”

In the 2017 season when both sides last faced off, it was 1-0 in Ibadan and 1-1 in Enugu and the coach Maikaba tutored side is looking good to get the result that will put back on track their title ambitions.

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