Enugu Rangers will engage Enyimba of Aba in age long regional rivalry game tomorrow (July 19). The Oriental derby will take place at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium Enugu, a great cathedral of soccer in Nigeria. Rangers vs Enyimba game is always a delight to watch and the atmosphere is always wonderful. The Enugu fans will be singing “Kpebe ekpere ka Rangers merie” while the Aba fans will respond with “Nzogbu nzogbu Enyimba enyi”. There was a particular fantastic derby that Orji Uzor Kalu, then Abia governor came with full entourage to Enugu for the game which Rangers won one nil. The game was a delight to watch and that was the period Enyimba was making waves in the continent. The final whistle was blown as the then Enugu governor, Chimaroke Nnamani was entering the stadium as he rushed back from a function. Nnamani proceeded on a running lap round the field and stopped at the VIP stand to greet Kalu. Nnamani later continued his race with teeming Enugu Rangers fans down O’Connor Street, Presidential Road and down to his government house. I urge the fans to go out tomorrow and enjoy themselves.
Steven Gerrard scored on his Major League Soccer debut and had a role in two of Robbie Keane’s three goals as LA Galaxy beat San Jose Earthquakes 5-2. The 35-year-old former Liverpool captain, making his first league appearance for anyone other than the Reds, levelled in the 37th minute after Keane’s penalty made it 2-1. Gerrard, who was wearing Liverpool shinpads, charged forward from his own half and played the ball to Keane, who found Baggio Husidic and Gerrard turned his cross home from 10 yards.
Congo coach Claude LeRoy wants to inflict further misery on Nigeria this weekend when he takes his side to Port Harcourt for a 2016 Olympic Games football qualifier. The Red Devils stunned the Super Eagles 3-2 last year in a 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier – it was the first home Nations Cup qualifying loss suffered by Nigeria and ultimately denied them a place at the finals and a chance to defend their title. Now, the consistently successful 67-year-old Frenchman hopes to repeat at under-23 level what he achieved at senior level and edge Congo closer to Rio de Janeiro and a first Olympics football appearance.
Former Arsenal player Emmanuel Frimpong was sent off playing for Russian side FC Ufa after he gestured to the crowd with his middle finger in response to alleged monkey chants. The midfielder, 23, was playing away to Spartak Moscow in the opening game of the Russian Premier League season. “When the match was stopped, the fans started shouting ‘monkey’ at me,” said Ghana’s Frimpong after the 2-2 draw. “I just did not keep my cool, I showed my emotions and it was my mistake.” Frimpong was shown the red card after half an hour of the game in Moscow, with the score at 1-1. He wrote on Twitter after the match: “A human being shouldn’t be racially abused for the game that I love. I’m going to serve a sentence for being abused.”