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2023/2024 NPFL Match Day 34: League crown not sure for Rangers International FC yet, says coach Ilechukwu

Posted : 03 June 2024

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Rangers International FC coach Fidelis Ilechukwu boasted on Sunday that Lagos remains his home after seeing his side force Sporting Lagos to a goalless draw.

Ilechukwu, a former coach of Lagos-based MFM FC, affirmed in an exclusive interview on the sidelines of the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) Match Day 34.

The NPFL Match Day 34 between the Noisy Lagosians and the title-chasing Flying Antelopes of Enugu was played at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Lagos Island.

Recall that the former Olukoya Boys gaffer has yet to lose a match in about 12 matches played after he departed Lagos as a coach.

Ilechukwu, however, contended that he had stayed in Lagos for a substantial part of his life, hence he considered Lagos as his second home.

"Am I not a Lagosian? I have spent over 20 years in Lagos, I have my family here, friends, and also a spiritual father in the person of Pastor DK Olukoya who believes in me.

"Lagos is home for me and my people. My family still resides in Lagos and playing in Lagos is an equal share with me.

"I am even sad that I did not pick up the three points in Lagos," he said.

About the match against Sporting Lagos, Ilechukwu declared that the point gained was important to him.

"The game today is very important to me and the team, and that is why we did our best to see what we can achieve.

"We are happy, and so are the fans as well. When we left Enugu, the Governor charged us to ensure that we come back with a good result.

"Though this game is not worth three points, but the one point is as good as three points to us, so we are happy about the outcome.

"Right now, we cannot talk about winning the league because there are more matches; maybe after the Enyimba International game, we can talk about that," he said.

Ilechukwu, however, said that he was still in the process of rebuilding the team into a formidable side.

"We have so many teams talking about winning the league, Remo Stars is talking, Enyimba International FC, tough, Lobi Stars as well, we are just like an underdog here.

"We are still building, and when the right time comes, we will know, not because we don't have the pedigree, but because of the structure of the league right now," he said.

The Match Day 34 fixtures ended in a goalless draw despite many nervy moments and missed chances during the game.

Sporting Lagos FC goalkeeper, Christian Nwoke, was a hero in the 12th minute of play with a great save as he reacted strongly enough to parry away a shot from distance.

Nwoke, a once Super Eagles invitee, was once again handy in the 30th minute as he denied a goal-bound well-struck free-kick.

Junior Lokosa in the 55th minute also found himself in a yard of space and tried his luck with a left-footed shot, but the Rangers’ goalkeeper parried it to safety.


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