Rangers Hit Libreville, Confident Of A Good Result

September 12 14:11 2019

Nigeria’ Total/CAF Confederation cup 2019/2020 hopeful, Rangers
International F.C of Enugu will be departing the shores of the country
on Thursday, September 12, 2019 for the Gabonese capital, Libreville
for the first leg, first round encounter with competition’ first
timers and runners-up of 2019 Gabon Championnat National Division 1,
Association Sportive Pelican, confident of a fruitful outing.

After drawing bye in the preliminary round due to its good run in last
edition of the competition, the ‘Flying Antelopes’ with some fresh and
experienced campaigners in continental football in its fold look set
to shock the Gabonese side that eliminated D.R Congo side, A.S Maniema
Union 4-2 on penalties after aggregate score over two legs of the
stage stood at 2-2 as both games ended in 1-1 draw.

Under care-taker manager and former defense lynch pin, Coach Benedict
Ugwu, who was in the coaching crew last season, the seven time Nigeria
league champions have their work cut out at Stade D’Angondje,
Libreville, Gabon as youthful gaffer of the host, Gidas Arnold Ndoumou
line up his wards that have conceded a goal in each of their last four
games in all competitions.

With talents like experienced campaigners in Ikechukwu Ibenegbu and
Uche John as well as power playing Nnamdi Egbujuo and Obinna Eleje
joining forces with Ifeanyi George in attack and Tony Shimaga
screening the back line where Isiaka Oladuntoye and Senegalese
international, Pape Ousmane Sane hold sway to provide enough coverage
for the man between the sticks, the ‘Flying Antelopes’ look set to fly
higher above the Pelicans.

After winning eleven and losing one in pre-season friendly games as
well as a weeklong close camping exercise in the serene, Nanka
community of Orumba-North LGA of Anambra state, the squad seem to have
blended with the new players getting accustomed to the ‘Never Say Die’
playing philosophy of Rangers which will be on display in this
encounter.

Coach Ugwu said on the fixture, “I have a strong belief that with the
talents at our disposal and the training regime we have gone through
in the pre-season, we shall come back with a good result by God’
grace. We don’t k now much of our opponent but our preparations have
always been to play against any opponent. Surely, it won’t be easy as
there are no more ‘Small’ teams in the game. They did well in the
preliminary round but I believe that we have all it takes to stop them
in this round.”

Also speaking, experienced continental campaigner who have at various
times featured for Warri Wolves, Heartland and Enyimba International
as well as distinguished himself in Nigeria’ Beach Eagles team,
Ikechukwu Ibenegbu ‘Mosquito’, said, “We are not going to Libreville
to watch the beauty of the city but to ensure we get a good result
that will make the return leg in two weeks time a mare formality. As a
new player in Rangers, I hope to bring my experience of playing on the
continent for over a decade to bear, if selected by the coach, to help
us achieve our set target for the season. Rangers is a very big team
in the continent and my joining them is to contribute my little quota
towards making it a continental champion again after over four
decades.”

Youthful midfield maestro who has seamlessly filled the void after
Ugonna Uzochukwu’ exit from the side, said, “We have a very compact
squad that can hold its own against any side.  I have the belief that
with the caliber of players recruited by management, we shall surpass
what we were able to achieve last season. Our fans out there should
continue their prayers for us as we hope to come back with a very good
result.”

Going into this encounter, Rangers coaches would be spoilt for choices
going forward as is evidenced in the number of goals scored in the
pre-season games netting forty-one goals while conceding six which is
enough confidence booster for the ‘Flying Antelopes’ and this was
amply captured by new boy, Nnamdi Egbujuo as he said, “We are in a
truly professional outfit and we have to make a good representation in
the game against A.S Pelican. They are a good side from information we
have been given but we are very determined to make a great impact in
the match to make our sponsors and fans happy.”

Recall that last season, Rangers went eight matches unbeaten on the
continent before falling to the pressures of the North-Africans to
exit at the group stage on third position before turning its attention
to the domestic scene where it emerged winners of Group A in the
abridged NPFL 2018/2019 season while coming third in the end of season
NPFL play-off in Lagos.

Rangers’ opponent in this weekend tie, A.S Pelican pride itself as a
very good counter-attacking side with the quartet of Emery Georges,
Boudouga Gauthier, Nze Donald and Alain Nono their tormentor-in-chiefs
for the tiny oil rich Central African republic nation’ side.

The twenty-five man delegation of eighteen players and seven officials
led by the G.M of Rangers, Prince Davdison Owumi was airlifted aboard
Asky Airline for the Gabonese capital, Libreville are expected back in
Nigeria on Sunday, September 15, 2019

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