January, 13 2024.
_as Lobi Stars, Katsina Utd Take Delivery of New Vehicles_
Having licked their wounds, after suffering a 0-2 defeat in Benin, against familiar foes, Bendel Insurance, in a Day 17 fixture, Rangers Int'l of Enugu believe they can ambush visiting Gombe United FC in a re-arranged Day 18 duel scheduled for Saturday, January 13, 2024.
Interestingly, the game to be played at the refurbished turf of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, in Enugu aka ‘The Cathedral’, is labeled the battle of the Wounded Flying Antelopes against the Savannah Scorpions.
Speaking ahead of the encounter, Rangers Head Coach Fidelis Ilechukwu expressed optimism that his side have worked diligently with the mindset of winning the match, and pocketing all three points on offer.
Going into this fixture, Gombe United are only two points and four spots adrift of Rangers, and a slip-up, will automatically translate to a fresh setback for Ilechukwu and his men.
After the team's last training session, preparatory to today's fixture, the tactician demanded of his players to show more commitment and play with some flair; so as to get back to winning ways and restore smiles on the faces of their teaming supporters.
“No doubt, we missed it [victory] in our last match in Benin, but that's behind us. We are now looking forward to getting a positive result against Gombe United, we do not underestimate them, but I can say we have done out homework for achieve our goal"; the gaffer said.
Admitting to the fact that Rangers are not where they ought to be in the table this season, Ilechukwu said he is pleased with the determination he has seen in the faces of his players, and a resounding victory over Gombe United could be the beginning of a superb run of form, that will see the Flying Antelopes, climb up the NPFL log.
In fourteen encounters between both sides, dating 2010 to 2022, Rangers enjoys the bragging rights with 6 wins, 4 drawn matches and 4 losses.
Meanwhile, the managements of Lobi Stars of Makurdi and Katsina United FC are still in cloud seven, celebrating the massive gestures bestowed on them, by their respective Governors.
Benue Governor, Hyacinth Alia had on Thursday donated four vehicles to Lobi Stars FC to address their transportation challenges, and also approved the payment of match bonuses owed the players, to further motivate the team, which is joint top of the NPFL log, with 31 points.
Similarly, Governor Dikko Umaru Radda, donated two Toyota buses to Katsina United FC, on Thursday.
The two buses are both brand new; one 32 seater coaster bus and the other an 18 seater bus; and the Governor personally handed over the keys of the buses to the Club's Interim Chairman, Alh Kabir Dan'lami Rimi, at the Muhammadu Dikko Stadium in Katsina.
While handing over the keys to the vehicles, the State Governor said donating the vehicles is intended at boosting the morale of the players and officials of the Club to step up their performances in the ongoing League.
With one match in hand, Katsina United aka 'Changi Boys' are 12th in the table, with 20 points; www.ckdmedia.ng reports.
Other fixtures moved from Sunday to Saturday are the tie in Umuahia between Abia Warriors and 3rd on the log Doma United FC of Gombe; a relegation six-pointer between Heartland FC and Kwara United at the Dan Anyiam Stadium Owerri; whilst Sunshine Stars are to entertain Niger Tornadoes in Akure.
Fixtures originally scheduled for Sunday 14th January have likewise been moved to Monday 15th January, as the Super Eagles are scheduled to play Equatorial Guinea, in their Group A opener on Sunday.
Elsewhere, the NPFL has announced that it's mid season transfer window is now open. According to the league regulator, the window which opened on January 10th, will close at exactly the midnight of January 31st, 2024.