Who wins? Rangers wait for first league title in 32 Years
Enugu Rangers, leader of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), are 90 minutes and one point away from winning the country’s top tier for the first time in 32 years.
The only team standing between the Flying Antelopes and a seventh league title are El-Kanemi Warriors when they meet today.
The Enugu club have won the title in 1974, 1975, 1977, 1981, 1982 and 1984 but have never come this close to winning it in the modern era in which the top tier has been rechristened from the Old First Division to the Professional League, to the Premier League and now the NPFL.
After their title win in 1984, Rangers stopped flying. Their dominance of the 1970s and early 1980s when they also won five Cup titles came to an end.
Rangers captain Christian Chukwu, one of the men who helped the club to their last league title 32 years ago, told supersport.com that it has been “torturing to watch as we struggled over many years to win anything” but now feels relieved that they have a hand on the league trophy this time.
“It has been torturing to watch as we struggled over many years to win anything in the country. If I was told in 1984 that Rangers will not win anything for many years I would have disagreed but that is football for you,” began Chukwu, who works as a technical consultant at the club.
“I am happy with the position we have found ourselves this season, but we haven’t lost focus of the fact that there is a game to play. And the coach of the team (Imama Amapakabo) have made this very clear to the players ahead of the last game.”
Amapakabo, who was a teenager in 1984 and was still in secondary school when Chukwu lifted the league trophy then, said his playing personnel have been put on their toes ahead of Sunday’s crucial game against El-Kanemi Warriors.
The former Nigeria under-17 goalkeeper has also enlisted a psychologist to work on the players on the eve of the NPFL final day and Amapakabo has made it clear that Rangers will play for the full points today.