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LAGOS, NIGERIA.     Tuesday, April 08 2003

 

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3SC, Rangers relive rivalry
From Clement Nwankpa Jnr., Abuja

WHEN COJA, the organising committee for the 8th All Africa Games, set out to commission the Abuja National Stadium with a match between the Super Eagles and Ghana's Black Stars, they had intended to re-enact the old rivalry between the two West African countries but in the new fixture between Rangers and 3SC, a long-term local rivalry could be relived.

Ordinarily, on current form, a match between reigning league champions Enyimba and FA Cup champions Julius Berger would have been more appropriate but the rivalry between Rangers and 3SC is as old as Nigeria's participation in continental club football.

The stiff competition between both clubs has its origin in the early 70s and after 3SC won the winners cup in 1976, Rangers denied them a repeat performance in 1977.

It was an all Nigeria semi-final clash in 1977 as both teams met with Rangers winning after a penalty shoot-out.

Rangers would go on to win the cup that year.

Incidentally, the rivalry has not been captured at the highest level in recent years with 3SC struggling in the lower division since 1997.

With Rangers now campaigning in the premier league and 3SC in the pro-league division one, both teams might not boast of the same quality of players currently but old times should provide the biggest challenge.

With the league in recess, both teams will find the match ideal enough to remain in good form before the second stanza kicks off.

Meanwhile, officials of COJA have announced that tickets for the match will be free.

Fans interested in watching the match are expected to pick up their tickets free at COJA offices in Abuja.

 

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