Rangers International FC of Enugu celebrated their return to the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium on Thursday with a 2-0 victory over the visiting Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) of Ibadan on Match Day 16 of the ongoing Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL).
The match against 3SC was the first for the club inside the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium since the state government started renovation work on the pitch.
Nweke Kalu scored the first goal for Rangers in the 27th minute, giving the supporters a rousing welcome to the newly renovated stadium after two years.
Okorie Chiedozie increased the tally in the 88th minute, securing the needed victory for the home team.
In his post-match interview, Rangers coach, Fidelis Ilechukwu, expressed his happiness, stating that the match was their first on their return to the stadium and before their home supporters.
“It is our first game inside the stadium; winning 2-0 and having a clean sheet is a nice welcome for the team.
“The players are trying to get it right with the new turf in terms of timing of the ball, and when we get used to it, I hope this field will turn into a slaughter ground.
“We are happy to play before our fans again, and we had a large crowd today, like we see at Liverpool and Chelsea matches in England,” Ilechukwu said.
Olugbenga Ogunbote, 3SC coach, praised his players for their performance in the match despite the loss.
“My players did not play too badly, except that we conceded two goals, and nobody will say we were humiliated.
“Sometimes, goals do not actually determine the strength of a team; be it as it may, we take the positive from it.
“We are not comfortable with our position in the league, and we are going to work on the lapses to bring the needed change in the team,” he said.
The win took Rangers FC to the 9th position on the log with 22 points after 15 matches, while 3SC remains 13th with 19 points after the same number of matches.