Sports

Rangers Emerge Zonal Champions of Youth League

 

The U-17 team of Rangers International F.C have emerged champions of the South-East zone of the inaugural edition of NPFL Youth League after amassing seven points from available nine over three days of great soccer artistry witnessed by appreciable number of fans inside the main bowl of Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium, Enugu.

Despite being held to a goalless draw by Abia Warriors U-17 team, the coach Basil Obeta tutored side brested the tape first as Heartland were runner-up with six points, Abia Warriors were placed 3rd with two points and Enyimba placed 4th with a solitary point.

Captain of the youth team of Rangers, Chimobi Igwilo, who had four goals to his name in three matches was voted the Most Valuable Player of the zonal play-off and will be taking his goal scoring form to the national final scheduled for the ancient city of Benin where other zonal champions like, Rivers United, Plateau United, Remo Stars and Katsina United will be coming to challenge for the best club in the U-17 category.

After dispatching Heartland 1-0 on match day one and defeating Enyimba 3-0 in the second match, the Enugu boys just needed to avoid defeat in the third match to become champions due to the pressure from Heartland who were on six points with superior goals scored after completing their three matches.

The boys of coach Basil Obeta took the battle to the Umuahia boys right from the blast of the referee’ whistle signaling the start of hostilities and would have been in front as early as the 5th minute but for the questionable chalking off a beautiful cycle-kick effort from Friday Okacha.

Credit to the Umuahia side for their composed fight-back to leave the competition on a high but the quality defensive play of Agbo Tochukwu and Umeh Chibuike put them in check while Somto Ilono, Emmanuel Adeli, Kingsley Michael and John Anietie were a delight to watch in the middle of the pack.

On 76 minute, Rangers were handed an opportunity to take the lead by the centre referee after Chimaobi Ikedieze brought down Rangers’ attacking sensation, Chimobi Igwilo inside the box but the striker who picked himself up, saw his effort go over the cross bar, to the joy of Abia Warriors and distraught to Rangers.

CEO of Rangers, Barrister Amobi Ezeaku after the encounter, applauded the cadet team describing their efforts as commendable stressing, “We are now the champions of the zone and it is expected that we keep learning and applying the knowledge from our coaches in all our games especially as we go for the national competition. Be humble and focused as you all have what it takes to be national champions.”

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