Ibadan Agog As 3SC Battle Rangers

The Glo Premier League, NPL, returns this weekend from a midweek break that allowed teams participate in the Federation Cup fixtures with the most mouth-watering of the fixtures this Sunday, being a clash between traditional rivals and old heavy weights, Shooting Stars of Ibadan and Rangers International of Enugu, reports npfl.ng.
There is no rivalry that equates to theirs in terms of longevity even with Shooting Stars occasionally dropping out of top flight league as they did two seasons ago before returning this season to renew the football rivalry.
Three decades ago, this fixture would have dominated conversations in the Nigerian football community as these are two teams that not only ruled the country, but were feared even outside the shores.
The older generation would readily recall how the likes of Segun Odegbami, Muda Lawal, Christian Chukwu, Okwuchukwu Anigbogu and rest of that football class of the era mesmerized teams back in the day.
In 1975, Rangers parading the likes of Dominic Nwobodo, Christian Chukwu, Emmanuel Okala and coached by Dan Anyiam claimed all domestic trophies beating Shooting Stars 1-0 in the final.
It was the first time any team would achieve that feat in that era. The next year, Shooting Stars then known as IICC Shooting Stars stripped Rangers of the league title but Rangers retained their Challenge Cup beating Ayufsalam Rocks of Ilorin 2-0 in the final.
Shooting then stepped up the rivalry the next year by winning the then Africa Cup Winners Cup, the first Nigerian side to achieve that success. Rangers will not be outdone as they retained the trophy for Nigeria the next year to claim equal bragging rights on the continent with their rivals.
Head to head in the last five meetings of both sides in the league, Rangers have won three including a 1-0 win at Ibadan on 12 June in the 2011 season. Rangers also won 3-2 on April 1 in the 2012 season, while Shooting Stars won 1-0 in the corresponding fixture on 29 July of same year.
Their most recent meeting before Shooting Stars dropped off the Premier League was in 2012/13 season and each side won on their home turf. Rangers won 2-0 in Enugu on 19 June, 2013 while Shooting reciprocated 2-1 in Ibadan on 22 September.
Both teams have lost one fixture at home in their last five matches this season with Rangers losing 1-0 to Giwa FC and Shooting Stars losing 2-1 to Heartland. However, Rangers have won two out of their last five games while their hosts won just once, losing three and drawing one.
This is the form they take into this weekend’s fixture which shows a less than an ideal start to their Premier League campaigns.
The clubs thus square up against each other to secure the points first and foremost and for the players, to get their names in the League’s history books in what has been a most intriguing Glo Premier League season.


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