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Legendary Old Rivals: 3SC Vs Rangers International | How May 17 Brought back Memories of the Lost Glory.

Today , we look forward to the El classic with so much expectation, but Real Madrid Vs Barcelona match up cannot be compared with the legendary rivalry of the 70s’ between IICC Shooting stars (Now 3SC) Vs Rangers International.

At the peak of their rivalry in 1976 up to 82, players of IICC Shooting stars: Best Ogedegbe, Muda Lawal, Segun Odegbami, Kunle Awesu…  and for Rangers International: Emmanuel Okala, Christian Chukwu, Aloysius Atuegwu, Ogidi Ibeawuchi…  were all super stars in their own right.

These two teams played to a pack out stadium in fiercely competitive match in both the local league and CAF Champions league.  The arena was up to full capacity with some supporters opting to get to stadium a day before the match or early hours. Sometimes 10 hours before kick off.

Supporters traveled all the way from Enugu, Benin, Abeokuta, Lagos… just to see the match live! Seats are occupied up to 6 or 7 hours before the start of the match. For a match that will kick-off by 4pm, you dare not get to the stadium after 12noon or you may not find a place in.

Fans had to climb the stadium wall or near by trees. Some even watch from high raised building around the stadium with the aid of microscope – I’m not exaggerating!  Indeed, fans were known to have all inclusive parties for a home team win or war songs, “Mzobu, mzobu” as the away fans travel back home in victory.

All these was like a video playing back in my mind as I walk into Lekan Salami stadium in Ibadan this Sunday May 17, 2015; to see 3SC host Rangers International.

Enugu Rangers is no longer regarded as a top rate team in the Premier league and 3SC are always jumping between relegation back to the elite league. So the hypes have all died down.

Well, the present generation of fans in Nigeria may not appreciate all these. The millennial fans would rather stay back home to watch English Premiership than to rush down to the stadium for such classic old rivals match. But I was personally impressed by the turn out last Sunday.

The match ended a goal draw. The two teams split the points following  a 1 – 1 stalemate in the Glo Premier league match.

Rangers took the lead in the 25th minute through Edwin Eziyodawe, who capitalized on goalkeeper Abiodun Akande’s error, as he failed to grip the ball and allow Eziyodawe to tap it in for the first goal.

Tope Orelope equalized for 3SC in the 38th Minutes from the penalty spot, after Rangers’ Emmanuel Daniel kicked 3SC Nojeen Olakokun within the 18 yards box. And the stadium went wild in jubilation, celebrating the equalizers. And a feel of the old came all over me.

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