Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) title contenders, Enugu Rangers have been knocked out of the 2016 Federation Cup.
Rangers were beaten 2-1 by Nigeria National League (NNL) club, Crown FC in Abuja yesterday.
Second half substitute, Bello Owello netted the winner for the Oshogbo club after Peter Michael scored the game’s opener in 28th minute at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna.
Godwin Aguda had temporarily equalized for Rangers but it turned out to be purely academic in the end as the Flying Antelopes bowed out of Nigeria’s oldest football competition with a whimper.
“We underrated Crown from the beginning and we opened up ourselves too much in defence.
“We also failed to take the chances that came our way at the other end.
“It was a strange game and we just did not play to our usual level. We were not organized enough.
“It is a disappointing day for all fans of our great club but right now, we just have to lift up ourselves and concentrate on the league,” he told supersport.com.
Enugu Rangers are currently in second place on the NPFL standings.
Meanwhile, the Technical Manager of Rivers United, Stanley Eguma insists there will be no margin for error today when the club faces Shooting Stars Sports Club, (3SC) in the round of 16 in Nigeria’s oldest football competition-the Federation Cup.
United and S3C go toe to toe at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna in the stand out tie of the round as the two Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) clubs go in search of a quarter final ticket.
Eguma says he is looking forward to the game and predicts that concentration levels amongst his players will be at a very high level.
“It is another big game (for us because) Shooting Stars is another big name in Nigerian football.
“We cannot underestimate their strengths. They may not be in a very good position in the NPFL but the Federation Cup is a different ball game entirely.
“That is the reason why we have to be very well prepared and work above our capacity so that victory and nothing else comes our way,” he told Rivers United Media.
Eguma also took the time to discuss the choice of Kaduna as venue of the game explaining that his players may have some adapting to do playing up north.
“It will not be easy playing in (an unfamiliar terrain-Kaduna).
“We have to quickly adapt to the weather conditions up north but I hope we will be ready for it.
“In the Federation Cup, you cannot make a mistake.
“We must overcome this latest hurdle if we are to achieve our ambition of winning the trophy this year,” he said.
Rivers United defeated Papilo FC 4-3 in Uyo in the round of 64 of the Federation Cup before putting paid to the ambitions of Nigeria National League (NNL) club, Kaduna United in Makurdi in the round of 32 with a 4-0 hiding.