Rangers took no chances in their final charge for the Nigeria Professional Football League title as they opened all salvo to wallop visiting El Kanemi 4-0 on the last match day of the season played at the “Cathedral”, Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu on Sunday evening.
They had come into the game with one grip on the shield, being on top the log with 60 points while their closest rival, Rivers United were at 57 points but permutations were on that should anything go wrong for Rangers and should Rivers defeat Akwa United in Uyo, it would be down to checking goals differences, a situation that Rangers didn’t want to be.
More so, the El Kanemi players had sent a threat, as voiced by their top scorer, Mustspha Ibrahim, that they were in Enugu for a revenge, recalling that two seasons ago, they were at the point of victory but it was Rangers that denied them the needed points on the final day.
Given these threats, Rangers went for the sledge hammer which they unleashed furiously on El Kanemi with Chisom Egbuchulam opening scores very early in the game with a well executed spot kick. Osas Okoro made sure to double the lead before the half time mark while Chisom called again in the middle of the second half following an exhibition of beautiful combination with Nwobodo and Okoro.
Chisom returned to the box to finish up a hat trick after substitute, Ifeanyi Egwim was hacked down in the box by goal keeper Yekini Kazeem who was immediately red carded.
The evening in Enugu would represent the most momentous football carnival in the history of African football with a multitude of joyous fans on hand to celebrate the return of Rangers to glory after 32 years. The atmosphere is indescribable with non-stop replays of Mexican waves and returns of the club’s anthem, “Holy Holy Holy, Enugu Rangers, another champion.”
Egwim’s injury however produced a bit of an anti- climax to the celebrations when the ambulance arrived to take him away and news filtered out that the damage to his leg was serious.
Interestingly, the State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, we gathered has ordered that he should be immediately flown abroad for specialists treatment.
Overwhelmed with joy for bringing Rangers back to reckoning, coach Imama Amakapabo said he was optimistic from the beginning of the season that Rangers will finish with the title and they worked hard for it.
For his future with the club, he said “it all depends on what the management wants.”