Federation Cup: Enugu Rangers face Nasarawa United

Jimoh Isiaka@Shengolpixs
Kano Pillars take on neighbours in the semi-final after a comeback win over Enyimba, while Nasarawa United plot to upset Enugu Rangers

Nasarawa United are eager to disrupt the nation's football landscape when they face warlords Enugu Rangers in the Federation Cup semi-final in Kano on Wednesday.

After sending El Kanemi Warriors out of the competition, Nasarawa would be charged up as they seek for a second final appearance in three years after 2016 runners-up finish.

Although unfancied to reach the last four, the incredible run of Kabiru Dogo's men this time is well documented following their triumph in the group stages at the expense of now eliminated champions Akwa United in Aba.

A 2-0 win over Abdu Maikaba’s side was their biggest achievement on the road to the semis despite quarterfinal win over the Borno Army at the Enyimba Stadium.

For Enugu Rangers, hopes of navigating their path to sixth national glory would fill the mind of Gbenga Ogunbote and his men, going up against Nasarawa at the Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano. 

Many expects Rangers to be more hungrier for a final appearance, having last came close 18 years ago when they finished as runners-up in 2000 - third finals since they last claimed the fifth trophy in 1983.

Individually, captain Okey Odita successfully ended the Flying Antelopes 32-year long wait for the league diadem in 2016 and this time, will hope to break another jinx after being part of the squad that lost the 2004 finals to Dolphins [now Rivers United] in Benin City.

In Lagos, Katsina United who are in their second season in the Nigerian topflight will be keep to write history when they engage neighbours Sai Masu Gida in a northwest derby at the Agege Stadium.

To reach the semis, Abdullahi Biffo's men upset former league champions Plateau United to clinch the second spot behind already ousted Enyimba in Gombe. As if that was not enough, they brushed aside hard-fighting Kwara United in the quarterfinal in Lagos to put themselves on the brink of title glory.

Biffo will solely count heavily on the red-hot form of Destiny Ashadi in the bid to extend their fairytale run-in the competition with regards to securing a final spot.

Ashadi will no doubt be a standout performer for the Chanji Boys and as well cause them a lot of problems, having found the net on the two occasions both teams met during abruptly ended 2017/18 season.

On the other hand, Kano Pillars would aim to continue their dominance on the Katsina based side to keep alive their quest for a maiden Federation Cup crown.

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Ibrahim Musa will have little to worry about going up against neighbours for the third in the space of eight months, having picked four points against the Katsina side during the regular season.

The Kano based side also boasts of the league's top scorer Junior Lokosa, who scored three in five of Pillars goals in the league doubleheader against the Chanji Boys.

Musa also has on his list gangling Nyima Nwagua, who has contributed three goals so far in the competition, including their fourth in the six-goal quarterfinal thriller with Enyimba in Gombe.