Rangers are confident they will go past fellow NPFL side Nasarawa United tomorrow in Kano to reach the final of this year’s Aiteo Cup.
Rangers, who last won this cup competition over three decades ago, will hope to subdue ‘The Solid Miners’ Nasarawa United from Lafia.
The ‘Flying Antelopes’ are aiming for their first final appearance in over a decade after they narrowly lost to now defunct Dolphins led by former Rangers great Ifeanyi Onyedika in Lagos in 2007, while their opponents were losing finalists two seasons ago.
Coach Olugbenga Ogunbote guided Rangers past a tricky quarterfinal tie against holders Akwa United.
Rangers had to come from behind to win on penalties 4-2 and qualify for this stage of the annual competition, while coach Kabiru Dogo’s wards relied on a late goal to send El Kanemi Warriors out of the competition in Aba on Thursday in another quarterfinal.
Ogunbote said, “Looking ahead to the semi-finals, we are not expecting anything less because as you progress, the competition becomes tougher and we are prepared to hold tight to our plans as our target remains hitting the final and winning it.
“Nasarawa United are not a small team. We lost once to them in the league and were not able to pay them back in their own coin as the league ended abruptly.
“So, we have conditioned our minds towards stopping them on their tracks on Wednesday in Kano.”
Rangers captain Okechukwu Odita, who scored the equaliser against Akwa United, further said: “No two matches are the same, but we are ready to defend the colours of Rangers with the last drop our blood.
“The motivation is there and we are physically and mentally ready for the Nasarawa challenge.
“Surely, nothing good comes easy and we know this so we are re-doubling our efforts to see that we overcome Nasarawa and head down to Asaba to win the oldest trophy in the land.”
Meanwhile, ‘The Flying Antelopes’, Saturday morning, at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano defeated local non-league side Dorayi United F.C 1-0 in a practice match.
Striker Godwin Zaki converted a spot kick in the first half.