Enugu Rangers have broken their 32-year-old trophy jinx, even with one match to go in the NPFL.
The Imama Amakapabo tutored side with their 2-1 away victory over Ikorodu United yesterday in Abeokuta have established an unassailable lead that qualifies them as Nigerian league champions in waiting. They would be crowned on October 2 at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium after their home game against El Kanemi Warriors.
Rangers after yesterday’s win now have 60 points , while second placed Rivers United are having 57 points. While Rangers would be enjoying themselves at home on the last match day in a match they would need only a draw as “top up point”, Rivers United would be away to Akwa United in Uyo.
Rivers United bungled their chances of catching up with Rangers when they drew at home yesterday against Abia Warriors.
Wikki Tourists on their part fell 0-1 to Shooting Stars in Ibadan to lose their third position on the log to FC IfeanyiUbah. The Nnewi millionaires side climbed to third place courtesy of their 1-0 victory over Enyimba, while Wikki Tourists are now fourth.
It would be noted that Rangers last won a trophy in 1984.
Rangers went in front in yesterday’s game after 26 minutes through a wonder goal by man of the match Obinna Nwobodo, who sighted Ikorodu goalkeeper off his line and chipped in from a distance.
The exciting midfielder will then turn provider in the 39th minute when he delivered a cross across the Ikorodu goal for Chisom Egbuchulam to simply tap home.
However, it was a tensed final minutes in Abeokuta after substitute Paul Duke scored for Ikorodu United from a rather difficult angle.
Next Sunday’s final game at home to El Kanemi will therefore be more or less a mere formality for ‘The Flying Antelopes who overall deserve the championship on the back of a solid away record.
In the other matches decided yesterday, Sunshine Stars, Niger Tornadoes, Heartland and El Kanemi Warriors won at home. Heartland with their 1-0 victory over Pillars brightened their chances of escaping relegation, while Warri Wolves and MFM would need a miracle to survive.