Rangers lift Aiteo Cup, Okala, Ebunam, Aniedobe laud stunning comeback



Rangers lift Aiteo Cup, Okala, Ebunam, Aniedobe laud stunning comeback
Chimezie Anaso
Awka, Oct. 24, 2018 (NAN) Some former players of Rangers International football club of Enugu have applauded their victory over Kano Pillars in  the finals of 2018 Aiteo Cup in Asaba on Wednesday.
The veterans and other supporters of the Flying Antelopes who spoke to the News Agency OF Nigeria (NAN) in Awka described the victory as the greatest football comeback in recent time.
NAN reports that Rangers International defeated Kano Pillars 4-2 on penalties after upturning a 0-3 lead by their Kano opponents in regulation time.
Pillars recorded the first goal  in the fourth  minute with a  strike from Rabiu Ali.
Ibrahim Alhassan extended the lead with a goal off a corner kick in the 20th minute while Nyma netted the third goal in the 48th minute.
Rangers International began their comeback  with a goal by Kelvin Itoya in the 79th minute.
Chidera Ezeh further reduced the deficit  in the 82nd  minute while Ajani Ibrahim drew level  in the 90th minute.
Emma Okala, who was both  a former  goalkeeper  and coach for the team,   said the victory was a miracle.
“It was wonderful, it was a miracle, we are happy that we won,” he said, after the thrilling match at Stephen . Keshi Stadium in Asaba .
For their efforts, Rangers got  N25 million cheque by sponsors AITEO, while Pillars went home with N10 million.
Arthur Ebunam, chairman of ex Rangers International Football Players in Anambra said the club displayed a never-say-die spirit.
Ebunam said the attitude of Kano Pillars player when they were ahead was also responsible for the outcome of the game.
“They(Rangers) fought like warriors, they put up a good fight otherwise it would have been light-out for some of us.
“Kano Pillars surrendered their lead because of fatigue. They were falling and cramping around the pitch because they thought they had won,” he said.
Joe Aniedobe said he was glad that the cup he won three times as a player of Rangers has been won again.
Aniedobe who played for Rangers between 1974 and 1981 said he was overjoyed.
“I am happy.  That is a cup I won as player of Rangers in 1975, 1976 and 1977. The players were great,” he said. (NAN)
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