Enugu Rangers are closing in on lifting their first league title in 32 years. A point against El-Kanemi Warriors on Sunday at 'the Cathedral Nnamdi Azikwe Stadium, Enugu will see the Flying Antelopes emerge Nigeria Professional Football League champions. Completesportsnigeria.com's ADEBOYE AMOSU here presents the five key players who have played significant roles in the historic title quest…
Photo by GANIYU YUSUF:
The left winger is the Rangers' leading scorer with 13 league goals. Egbuchulam has shouldered the goal-scoring responsibilities for the Flying Antelopes this season and is one of the reasons why they are on the verge of winning a seventh Nigeria Professional Football League title.
While the three other members of the famed CANE (Clement, Aguda, Nwobodo, Egbuchulam) suffered injuries at one time or the other during the campaign, he stayed on to ensure their absence was not felt.
His performance didn't go unnoticed as he was rewarded with a call-up to the NPFL All- Stars side that took part in the La Liga tour where he churned out impressive displays against the likes of Malaga, Valencia and Atletico Madrid.
Though he is five goals behind the league leading top scorer, Godwin Obaje of Wikki Tourists, who has netted 18 times, Echugbulam's important contribution to Rangers title quest will linger on in the memories of the club's supporters for a long time.
Dimunitive Godwin Aguda has emerged from total obscurity to become a known force in the Nigeria Professional Football League and also a darling of Enugu Rangers fans.
Just last season, Aguda played for non-league side, Christ Ambassadors, and as captain of the side, led them to win the Lagos State Federation Cup.
The youngster was voted the best player of the competition in the Lagos final.
Rangers signed him up on a one- year loan deal from Christ Ambassadors and he has since become a key figure in the side.
He is the Coal City side's second joint-top scorer with seven goals.
The 20-year-old has grown to become an important player for Enugu Rangers in his first season with the club. A verstaile midfielder, Obinna was signed by Rangers from Nationwide League club, FC Inter, after he put in a man-of-the match display against the Flying Antelopes in a pre-season friendly.
The former junior international, who played for the Flying Eagles at the Africa U-20 Nations Cup in Senegal in 2015 but missed the World Cup due to injury, was then drafted into the first team within a matter of weeks after signing for the Flying Antelopes and has become a regular since.
He has been likened to great midfielders like former Spanish international Xavi and Argentine playmaker Juan Riquelme by the club faithful.
His playmaking and distribution abilities have endeared him to the fans and he also underlined his goal scoring prowess by scoring a potential goal of the season in the 2-1 win against Ikorudu United last weekend, his seventh of the campaign.
The forward linked up with Enugu Rangers from Oriental rivals Heartland last season. His transfer alongside that of centre- back, Kalu Orji generated so much controversy as Heartland officials claimed it was illegal.
Despite being hampered by injuries for some parts of the season, the 20-year-old has scored six goals for his side.
The goalkeeper joined Enugu Rangers from Ghanaian Premier League side AshantiGold last December. The former Ghana U-17 international started the season behind the duo of Emmanuel Daniel and Itodo Akor, but is currently the club's first choice goalkeeper.
Nana's bravery and calmness between the sticks have made him a fan favourite. He further underlined his goalkeeping prowess by saving a penalty in Rangers' tense matchday 36 2-0 home win against Sunshine Stars.