By: Chuks Ogbu
Enyimba FC are set to host Rangers International in one of the most anticipated fixtures of any NPFL season
The two teams are Nigeria’s most successful football clubs, sharing fifteen league titles (Enyimba 8, Rangers 7), ten Nigerian Cup titles (Rangers 5, Enyimba 4), five continental titles (Rangers 1 CAF Cup Winners Cup, Enyimba 2 CAF Champions League and 2 CAF Super Cup).
Rangers defeated Enyimba 2-0 in the reverse fixture of this derby played in Enugu on the 9th of may, a victory the Flying Antelopes enjoyed by means of two penalties scored in either halves.
Today, I want to go down memory lane to narrate five most memorable Oriental Derbies between Enyimba FC and Enugu Rangers in no particular order.
JULY 2015: Rangers 1-2 Enyimba
It was a fixture played at the Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium in Enugu in a season the People’s Elephants were very desperate to win the league title after not winning it in the previous four seasons.
Enyimba took the lead in Enugu via then in-form Christian Obiozor but the Flying Antelopes equalised. Just as the game was coasting home, Andrew Abalogu scored the goal that gave Enyimba the maximum points.
JUNE 2007 NPL GLO SUPER 4 PLAYOFF: ENYIMBA 2-0 RANGERS
It was a great season for Enyimba as the were the first to book their place in the playoff series for that season.
The playoff was held at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos.
The People’s Elephant defeated Wikki Tourist 2-1 in their first game of the Playoffs while Rangers defeated Gombe United 1-0. The Flying Antelopes had former Enyimba coach Okey Emordi as their head coach and Emordi had boasted that his Rangers side was going to beat the Enyimba team coached by Belgian Maurice Coremann but Emordi was stunned when Enyimba left back Ajibade Omolade struck first very early in the game before Junior Osagie made it two in the second half and Enyimba held on for a comfortable 2-0 over their rivals.
MAY 2005 Enyimba 1-0 Rangers
This game was a very tough encounter in which Enyimba had lots of chances but the Rangers defence held strong. It took just a second half strike from substitute Atanda Sakibu to seal the maximum points for the People’s Elephants.
JUNE 2012 Enyimba 2-0 Rangers
It was a top of the table clash, Rangers were on top of the table while Enyimba was second going into the big game.
Enyimba had to rely on two former Rangers players, Razack Adegbite and Ugwu Uwadiegwu to seal the maximum points in Aba. Uwadiegwu Scored a wonderful free kick that evening but was sent off for pulling off his shirt during celebrations.
MAY 2005 Enyimba 1-0 Rangers
It was an end to end stuff in the first half but in the second half Enyimba dominated the game but couldn’t find a goal until Atanda Sakibu was introduced and he grabbed a wonderful goal for the People’s Elephant to seal the game.
MAY 2019 Enyimba 3-1 Rangers
Enyimba took on Enugu Rangers in this much hyped game and truly lived up to the hype.
Center back Ifeanyi Anaemena grabbed the first goal and shortly afterwards Jean-Marie Guerra made it two before the break, in the second half Godwin Aguda pulled on back for the Flying Antelopes but Anaemena grabbed his second goal and Enyimba’s third to seal a 3-1 win in that very entertaining Oriental Derby.
The above are my five most entertaining games between Enyimba and Rangers International.
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