Enugu Rangers

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Coordinates: 6°26′39″N 7°29′47″W / 6.44427°N 7.49630°W / 6.44427; -7.49630

Enugu Rangers
Rangers International FC (logo).png
Full nameEnugu Rangers International Football Club
Nickname(s)Flying Antelopes[1]
Founded1970[2]
GroundNnamdi Azikiwe Stadium
Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria
Capacity30,000
ChairmanDavidson Owumi
CoachGbenga Ogunbote
LeagueNigeria Premier League
201714th

Rangers International Football Club, commonly known as Enugu Rangers, is a Nigerian professional association football team. They are based in Enugu and play their home games at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium.[3]

They are the only Nigerian team never to have been relegated from the Nigeria Premier League.[4]

History[edit]

The 1970s[edit]

Enugu Rangers were founded in 1970 and won a nationally organised tournament which allowed them to qualify for the 1971 African Cup of Champions Clubs.[5] Rangers first international tournament ended in defeat in the quarterfinal rounds, losing 0-3 on aggregate to ASEC Mimosas.[6]

They almost achieved instant success in the cup as well, making the final of the first Nigerian FA Cup in 1971, but losing 2-1 to Shooting Stars F.C..[7]

After winning the 1974 double, including a 2-0 cup final win over Mighty Jets, the Enugu players were given promotions at the Nigerian Sports Council and cars.[8][9]

Rangers lost the 1975 African Cup of Champions Clubs to Guinea's Hafia FC, earning left-back Silvanus Okpalla the nickname "Hafia" for his poor play in the final.[10] Enugu had overturned a 3-1 defeat in Egypt in the semifinal to qualify for the final. Founding Ranger Ernest Ufele retired after the defeat.[9]

International success finally came in 1977. The club, now managed by their first-ever captain Godwin Achebe, had lost several players to Ibo state when the new jurisdiction was created in 1976.[11] In the quarterfinals, they were held to a goalless draw at home by defensively minded ASF Police of Dakar. Twenty minutes into the second half, Rangers took the lead, silencing the Senegal stadium, and won the game 2-1. After the game ended, Nigerian press noted the team was beaten by Senegalese fans, including three stabbed Rangers players.[12] A military plane was flown to Dakar to evacuate the victors.[11]

The 1977 semifinals set up one of the greatest ties in Nigerian football history as Enugu were drawn against Shooting Stars.[13] Rangers would go on to defeat Canon Yaounde 5-2 on aggregate in the final, including a 4-1 win on Nigerian soil.

During this time period, Rangers boasted a number of Nigerian national team players such as Christian Chukwu, goalkeeper Emmanuel Okala[14] and Aloysius Atuegbu.[13]

The 1980s[edit]

Led by coach Christian Chukwu, Enugu won the 1983 Nigerian Cup, defeating DIC Bees of Kaduna 5-4 on penalties after a 0-0 draw.[15][16][8]

Rangers won their sixth title in 1984 with a number of players who had led Nigeria to the 1980 African Cup of Nations.[17][18] Louis Igwilo captained the team.[19]

The 1990s: lean years[edit]

Rangers joined the new fully professional league in 1990 and made cup final that year, losing to Stationery Stores on 5-4 on penalty kicks.[20] They would not make another cup final appearance in the decade, and their best league finish was third in 1998.[21]

The 2000s[edit]

Enugu topped the table after the 2001 home and away season but finished bottom of the four-team championship playoff group.[22]

Enugu Rangers made the group stage of the 2004 CAF Confederation Cup and missed out on winning the group and making the final after losing a head-to-head tiebreaker to Asante Kotoko. Rangers drew 0-0 against Angola's Petro de Luanda and celebrated, thinking they had advanced on goal difference, but the first tiebreaker was head-to-head.[23]

In 2008–09, they played some games in nearby Abakaliki and Nnewi as their stadium was renovated for the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup. Before the season started, Enugu State governor Sullivan Chime paid the backlog of sign-on fees dating to three years ago and all other debts owed the players.

In November 2008, Rangers became the first Nigerian clubside to be a public company and sell ownership stock.[24] However the deal fell through, and the club began the 2009 season in debt.[25] The club is currently owned by the state government.[4]

Enugu did begin a 12-year run of success in a minor trophy, the local state FA Cup, which they won every year from 2005 to 2017.[26]

2016-current: Success again[edit]

After a 2015 season which nearly saw them relegated, Enugu won the 2016 Nigeria Premier League, their first championship since 1982.[27] Closest challengers Rivers United needed Enugu to lose on the final day of the season, but Rangers won their game against El-Kanemi Warriors 4-0 to win the championship.[28][29]

2017 saw Enugu struggle, dropping into the relegation zone halfway through the season.[4] They recovered, finishing 14th and keeping alive their streak of never being relegated from the top flight.

The club went on to won their first Nigerian Cup in 35 years in 2018.[30] Rangers stunned Kano Pillars, coming back from a 3-0 deficit to win the trophy on penalties. Ajani Ibrahim scored on a diving header two minutes into stoppage time to tie the game 3-3.[31] Rangers played in the final five times from 1987 to 2007, never winning once.[4]

Rivalries[edit]

Enyimba and Rangers compete in the "Oriental derby."[32]

Honours[edit]

1974, 1975, 1977, 1981, 1982, 1984, 2016
1974, 1975, 1976, 1981, 1983, 2018
  • Finalist: 7
1971, 1978, 1987, 1990, 2000, 2004, 2007
  • Nigerian Super Cup: 1
2004
1977
1975

Performance in CAF competitions[edit]

The club had 7 appearances in African Cup of Champions Clubs from 1971 to 1985 and 3 appearances in CAF Champions League from 2006 to 2017.

2004 – Group Stage
2005 – Intermediate Round
2013 – Intermediate Round
2017 – Playoff Round
1996 – Second Round
2003 – Semi-finals
1977 – Champion
1984 – Quarter-finals

Current first team squad[edit]

As of 13 January 2018

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
2 Nigeria MF Aguda Godwin
4 Nigeria MF Solomon Okpako
3 Nigeria DF Ugwu Uwadiegwu
6 Nigeria DF Shedrack Francis
7 Nigeria MF Godwin Zaki
13 Nigeria MF Christian Madu
16 Nigeria GK Olufemi Thomas
17 Nigeria MF Bright Silas
18 Nigeria MF Salau Ibrahim
19 Nigeria MF Brown Braye Okpus
22 Nigeria DF Orji Kalu Okagbue
No. Position Player
Nigeria MF Osas Okoro
20 Nigeria DF Temitope Olusesi
23 Nigeria FW Abu Azeez
24 Nigeria MF Adun Osamudiamwen
27 Nigeria FW Ibrahim Ajani
30 Nigeria MF Chiamaka Madu
32 Nigeria MF Fabiyi Tayo
33 Ghana GK Seidu Mutawakilu
34 Nigeria DF Semiu Liadi
Nigeria MF Isaac Loute

Staff[edit]

Chairman

General Manager

Team Manager

Head Coach

Chief Coach

Physiotherapist

Assistant Coach I

Assistant Coach II

Trainer I

Trainer II

Trainer III

Trainer IV

GoalKeeper Trainer I

GoalKeeper Trainer II

Media Officer

Former head coaches[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Nigeria: This Rangers Team Will Be Like 70s Squad - Okala". allafrica.com. 30 September 2004.
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ "Nigeria - Enugu Rangers International FC - Results, fixtures, squad, statistics, photos, videos and news - Soccerway". Soccerway.com. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d "Enugu Rangers: The journey to ignominy". Espn.com. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  5. ^ Schöggl, Hans. "Nigeria 1970-79".
  6. ^ "L'Historique du Parcours de l'ASEC". ASEC Mimosas.
  7. ^ "Aiteo Cup Final: 7 Memorable 1970s, 1980s, 1990s Cup Finals". 24 October 2017.
  8. ^ a b "Chukwu: Rangers Have Brought Glory To Entire South Eastern Nigeria - Complete Sports Nigeria". Completesportsnigeria.com. 28 September 2016. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  9. ^ a b "In life, in death; two Rangers legends remain inseparable". Vanguardgr.com. 3 October 2014.
  10. ^ Ekwowusi, Sonnie (5 October 2016). "The Return of Enugu Rangers". Retrieved 27 October 2018.
  11. ^ a b "Rangers Int'l Football Club(4): First international trophy - Vanguard News Nigeria". Vanguardngr.com. 14 July 2017. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  12. ^ "The return of Rangers International FC – The Sun Nigeria". Sunnewsonline.com. 21 September 2016. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  13. ^ a b "Igbo vs Yoruba: The Clash Of The Brothers 1977, By Remigius Akinbinu [MUST READ]". Uncova.com. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  14. ^ [2][dead link]
  15. ^ "Nigeria 1983".
  16. ^ "Enugu Rangers Rewrite History in Unprecedented Fashion - Busy Buddies". Busybuddiesng.com. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  17. ^ "Nigeria 1984". RSSSF.
  18. ^ "NPFL Triumph-What next for Enugu Rangers". Goal.com.
  19. ^ "Rangers' victory answers Sayama's question 36 years on". Vanguard Nigeria.
  20. ^ "Nigeria - List of Cup Winners". RSSSF. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  21. ^ "Nigeria 1998". Rsssf.com. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  22. ^ "Nigeria 2001". RSSSF. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
  23. ^ "CAF Dismiss Enugu Rangers' Protest". Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  24. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-12-18. Retrieved 2008-11-09.
  25. ^ [3][dead link]
  26. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-10-27. Retrieved 2018-10-27.
  27. ^ "Enugu Rangers win Nigeria Professional Football League title as Rivers United and Wikki Tourists slip up - Goal.com". Goal.com. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  28. ^ "NPFL: Rivers Utd will fight till end, says Captain". Pulse.ng. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  29. ^ "Enugu Rangers Win First Football League Title In 32 Years • Channels Television". Channelstv.com. 2 October 2016. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  30. ^ "Enugu Rangers Win First Nigerian Cup Since 1983".
  31. ^ Akpodonor, Gowon (25 October 2018). "Rangers rise from 0-3 down to beat Kano Pillars". Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  32. ^ "NPFL: Rangers, Enyimba Clash In Oriental Derby; MFM Host Heartland - Complete Sports Nigeria". Completesportnigeria.com. 10 March 2018. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  33. ^ Dada, Gbolahan (6 February 2017). "My experience'll count for Rangers – Chukwu". thepointng.com. Retrieved 13 April 2018.

External links[edit]