AFRICAN WARRIORS: Rangers Lead Nigeria’s Quest For Continental Glory

AFRICAN WARRIORS: Rangers Lead Nigeria’s Quest For Continental Glory 


Four Nigerian clubs Enugu Rangers, Rivers United, FC Ifeanyiubah and Wikki Tourists will start their campaign in CAF competitions this weekend. Completesportsnigeria.com's ADEBOYE AMOSU analyses their chances and profiles their opponents…



Zenith Ziva




Enugu Rangers will be making a return to the continent after four years' absence. Standing between them and a place in the next round of the competition is Algerian club Jeunesse Sportive de Saoura.

The Flying Antelopes have started the defence of their Nigeria Professional Football League title on a poor note, winning just one out of their opening six games.

They have also struggled to get the goals in the absence of last season's top scorer Chisom Egbuchulam who is now set to join a Swedish club after failing to secure a move to Tunisia.

New arrival Fortune Omoniwari who scored in the team's oppening two goals of the campaign did not travel with the squad for the clash.

Coach Imama Amapakabo has kept faith with the majority of the players that won the title last season and will now hope that the likes of reliable goalkeeper Nana Bonsu, Orji Kalu, Matthew Etim, Godwin Aguda, Obinna Nwobodo and Bobby Clement produce a fine performance in this clash.



The Bernard Simondi-led side who are making their debut in the CAF Champions League surprisingly came second in the Algerian league last term.

The modest club have enjoyed a rise in the domestic scene in recent years.Seven years ago, they were playing in the lowest league in Algerian, the Regional Bechar League.

On April 17, 2012, JS Saoura beat SA Mohammadia 3–1 in their week 28 clash to secure promotion to the top flight.



                        RIVERS UNITED

The Stanley Eguma-led side have enjoyed a good start in the Nigeria Professional Football League. They suffered their first defeat of the campaign against Shooting Stars last weekend which was  partly due to the fact they rested seven of their key players for the game against AS  Real Bamako.

This is no doubt a big test for the Pride of Rivers but they surely have the quality to beat the Malians.

They have three top class goalkeepers in Rotimi Sunday, Olufemi Thomas and Abiodun Akande who can hold their own any day.

 Eguma is also spoilt for choice in defence with the likes of captain Austine Festus, Olalekan Gabriel, Markson Ojobo, Gabriel Wassa, Ayodele Asekunowo and Ifeanyi Nweke in contention for starting spots.

In midfield, there are also enough talents where the likes of Esosa Igbinoba, Lukman Mohammed, Nzube Anaezamba and Bolaji Sakin hold sway.

Bernard Ovoke and Ivorien hitman Guy Kuemian will lead the attack and on their day are capable of breaching any defence.

They certainly have the experience and talents to get a favourable result in this game.




The Scorpions are making their eighth appearance in the CAF Champions League. They last appeared in the competition in 1992 and have made it to the final once in 1966.

Real who have played second fiddle to Stade Malien in the domestic scene have won the Mali Premier League title six times and the Cup on 10 occasions.

They knocked out seven-time Nigeria Professional Football League champions Enyimba out of the competition in 2014.






               FC IFEANYIUBAH

The Anambra Warriors will be making their first appearance in the CAF Confederation Cup after winning the Nigeria Federation Cup last season.

They will hope to make it a dream start when they host Al- Masry  Sporting Club of Egypt at 'the Fortress' FC Ifeanyiubah International Stadium, Nnewi on Sunday.

The Yaw Preko-led side have made an unimpressive start to life in the Nigeria Professional Football League this season with only two wins from their opening six games.

They will bank on the experience of the likes of goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Stephen Eze, King Osanga and Prince Aggreh to survive this hurdle.

The team also appeared settled after their managerial upheaval during pre-season.



The Green Eagles are one of the five clubs that have the largest number of fans in Egypt beside Al Ahly, Zamalek, Ismaily and El Ittihad.

The club have  never won the Egyptian Premier League title and have placed third six times.

They last featured in a CAF club competition 14 years ago and qualified for the Confederation Cup by virtue of finishing fourth in the league last season.



                    WIKKI TOURISTS

Wikki Tourists like FC IfeanyiUbah will be making their first appearance on the continent.The Bauchi Elephants are regarded as one of the most exciting teams in the Nigeria Professional Football League.

However, a change of coach and the departure of several of their key stars have seen the team struggle this season.

They have struggled without their former talismanic forward, Godwin Obaje, their top scorer from  last season who has joined FC Ifeanyiubah, while the new handler Mohammed Ganaru is still struggling to impose his style on the team.

They should be able to see off  their Sierra Leonean opponents Royal Sierra Leonean Armed Forces Football Club.



The Royal Sierra Leonean Armed Forces Football Club is not a big name in African football.They play their home games at the 2,000 capacity Wusum Sports Centre, Makeni.

The club have never won a domestic title in their history.

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