Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) group A table topping side, Rangers International of Enugu are set to earn a respectable result at the Akure township stadium, come Sunday, April 14, 2019 when it trade tackles with ‘Owena Waves’, Sunshine Stars F.C in a match day 15 encounter.
After annexing all maximum points at stake in a match day 6 fixture, midweek in Ilorin, the coach Olugbenga Ogunbote tutored side is full of optimism going into this tie with its sight set on another win on the road.
With the likes of Ifeanyi George, Michael Uchebo, Chiamaka Madu and Ifeanyi Egwim at their mercurial best, it will take a lot from the host to stop the quartet while also relying on pint-sized, Faud Ekelejuoti, Dayo Ojo and former junior international, Michael Egbeta to ruffle some feathers at the back of the visitors.
In attack, the hosts would be relying on Isreal Abia, Chibundu Amah and Sunday Abe to rattle Rangers rear guard ably anchored by a former Sunshine Star, Isiaka Oladuntoye who has vowed to keep the host attack line at bay and leave Akure with heads held high for the Enugu side.
Both sides are coming off healthy wins in re-scheduled encounters midweek with Rangers earning a road win in Ilorin to perch on top of the log while Sunshine had to do a complete destruction of Lobi Stars a day later in Akure with Amah Chibundu grabbing a hat-trick in the encounter.
On the technical side, coach of the home side, Kabiru Dogo will have to be at his best to counter what is set to be dished out by his much travelled and successful counterpart, Olugbenga Ogunbote who is leading the ‘Flying Antelopes’ into town.
Rangers had been the better of the two sides in the reverse fixture in Enugu, March 21 with an Olamilekan Gabriel’s own goal separating them while goalkeeper, Ayo Ojo was the major reason the game failed to record more goals.
Also, in the last five outing by the contending teams, it has been WWDDD for the visitors while the host recorded WLLLD.
Coach Ogunbote said ahead of the fixture, “Sunshine stars match is going to be tough but I believe that we have what it takes to earn a good result in Akure. Remember that I have worked there before and that to some extent will work in our favor. Like I always say, no two games are the same and we shall approach the game against Sunshine with a different attitude but with the aim of getting a good result.”
There are strong possibilities that Ogunbote will be relying on the starting team that fetched his side the first win on the road while there may be room for the return of Ivorian import, Roland Koffi who missed the Ilorin debacle due to card suspension.
Going into this encounter, Rangers perches on top of the log with 24 points from eleven games played with three outstanding matches while their host, Sunshine Stars are on the fifth position with 19 points from 14 matches while Rangers boast of the meanest defense in the series conceding six goals thus far.