Keshi picks 7 home-based players against Liberia

Super Eagles Chief Coach, Stephen Keshi has picked 7 home-based professionals that will join their foreign counterparts for the October 13th 2013 Nation’s cup final qualifier against Liberia in Calabar.

The 7 players are Warri Wolves duo of goalkeeper, Chigozie Agbim and Azubuike Egwueke, Sunshine Stars defender, Godfrey Oboabona and Enyimba’s Henry Uche.

Others are Benjamin Francis of Heartland, Kano Pillars central defender, Umar Zango and Enugu Rangers winger, Ejike Uzoenyi.

Keshi confirmed that the team will depart for Calabar, venue of the match on Monday, October 8th while the foreign-based professionals are expected to join them on Wednesday, October 10th.

Nigeria needs an outright victory to seal its place at the tournament billed for South Africa.

Rangers’ striker Ofoedu abandons club

Foster Chime the media officer of Enugu Rangers confirmed that Chikeluba Ofoedu has followed in the footsteps of James Okwuosa in seeking greener pastures abroad in the game of football as the Enugu Rangers top scorer Ofoedu has gone abroad for trials without permission, and the management of the club are livid with anger over this.

Information reaching the club states that the striker is believed to be in Turkey with a yet to be known club in the country, all this in the midst of Rangers final NPL game in the season against Sharks this weekend which will either make or mar the club’s position on the league table as league winners or not.

Ofoedu was signed from Enugu-based amateur side UNTH FC at the beginning of the season, and has gone on to become one of the biggest revelations in the league, having scored 12 goals so far and contributed several assists.

The player had previously been linked with a move to Norwegian giants Rosenberg and despite impressing during trials, the move stalled for undisclosed reasons.

Rangers still have a chance of winning the league even though their destiny are no longer in their hands,they however will be hoping to win the game against Sharks by a large score line while hoping their fellow title contenders Kano Pillars and Lobi Stars lose away to both Sunshine Stars and Kaduna United respectively.

A while ago, the captain of Rangers, James Okwuosa, abandoned Rangers during their Federation Cup quest to go on trials in South Africa, and despite earlier threats issued by the management of Rangers to sanction the player, he was eventually ‘rewarded’ with a lucrative three year deal with Ajax Cape Town.

This disciplinary laxity on the part of the management of Rangers now seems to be creating a domino effect of the Okwuosa situation, which may have ‘inspired’ Ofoedu to defy the club, irrespective of their seemingly empty threats to sanction the player.

Expectedly, the club have again threatened to sanction the player by stating that the balance of his sign on fees and other entitlements for the season will be withheld until the player gives them a reasonable explanation for his action.

Fans of the club will no doubt be waiting the see how this new episode of a sad drama will play out.

 

Enugu Rangers maintains lead on league table

Enugu Rangers has maintained top spot in the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) after a comfortable 3-1 home win over relegation battlers, Rising Stars on Sunday in Enugu.

The flying antelopes have now recorded 46 points from 26 matches, while Enyimba moved into second place after a 2-nil home win over Kaduna united.

In other matches,

Gombe 1-0 Dolphin

Sunshine 3-3 Jigawa Golden Stars

Heartland 2-0 Lobi

Warri wolves 2-1 Ocean boys

Akwa United 1-0 Sharks

 

Enugu Rangers unbeaten run ends at Ijebu Ode

Sunshine Stars Sunday ended a nine-match unbeaten run of NPL leaders Enugu Rangers with a 2-0 home win in Ijebu-Ode.

However, Rangers stayed top of the table on 26 points as closest rivals Enyimba faltered after they fell 1-0 at Niger Tornadoes on Saturday.

Last season’s runners-up Sunshine Stars took the lead through a 55th minute penalty scored by team captain Godfrey Oboabona, before on-form striker Dele Olorundare made it 2-0 in the 78th minute to take the game beyond the visitors.

Olorundare expressed delight with his personal form.

“I am very happy that I am in good form now. I hope to keep doing that so I can help my team reach the level we want to be,” the hustling striker told MTNFootball.com

“I will keep working hard. My confidence has increased now and I am sure I will get better with more games.”

Warri Wolves beat Kwara United 2-0 at home with goals in either half by Uche Ossai and new signing Augustine Abutu.

Kwara United coach Tunde Sanni blasted the referee for helping the home team to win.

“The referee was part of the home team, he helped them to beat us,” said a very disappointed Sanni.

Hosts ABS FC recorded a 1-0 win over Rising Stars.

ABS were rescued by their latest goal machine Stone Evbuomwan, who netted the only goal of the game in the 53rd minute.

ABS media officer said: “It was a tough game and that reflected in the outcome. Our boys really fought hard for this victory and I am saying categorically that we deserved it.”

At the U.J. Essuene Stadium in Calabar, Akwa United recorded a resounding 3-1 victory over Gombe United.

Haruna Babalo, Musa Najere and Ekpai provided the goals for Akwa United.

In the earlier match at the same venue, Heartland pipped 3SC 1-0.

New signing Emmanuel Amaefule gave Heartland the maximum three points with his 37th minute goal.

At the Samson Siasia Stadium in Yenegoa, Ocean Boys beat visiting Wikki Tourists 2-1.

Ocean Boys goals came from Collins Nwaneri and Raphael Iwerebe in the 38th and 87th minutes respectively.

Lobi Stars upset champions Dolphin 2-0.

Lobi goals were scored by league veterans Lazarus Chukwu and David Tyavkase.

Lobi chief coach John Zaki said, “It was a good game, both sides gave a good account of themselves. I am happy that we won because we really played well and the boys played to instructions.”

The local derby between Jigawa Golden Stars and Kano Pillars in Hadejia will be played on Monday.

Injury woe for Enugu Rangers ahead of clash with ABS of Ilorin

A groin injury has ruled out Rangers International of Enugu’s striker Chikeluba Ofoedu from this weekend’s Nigeria Premier League game against ABS FC of Ilorin.

Ofoedu, who was snapped up from UNTH FC of Enugu and has netted three goals for the flying antelopes this season, suffered the injury mid-way through the first half of the home game against Heartland of Owerri last week.

Skipper James Okwuosa and defensive midfielder Emeka Eze are also doubtful for the trip to Ilorin.

Okwuosa is also nursing a thigh injury, while Eze has yet to get over a knock he suffered against Enyimba of Aba.

Meanwhile the club is set to sign on Strikers Osita Henry from Wikki Tourists and Tochukwu Esom from relegated Plateau United to add bite to their strike force.