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Page 62 stories Siasia picks Sokari, Pyagbara, 24 others for Morocco camp Head Coach of the U-23 National Team, Samson Siasia has picked 26 home-based…

Page 62 stories

Siasia picks Sokari, Pyagbara, 24 others for Morocco camp

Head Coach of the U-23 National Team, Samson Siasia has picked 26 home-based professionals for the pre-Africa U-23 Cup of Nations training camp in Morocco. The 26 players were picked from the list of 35 earlier invited to camp.

The list is dominated by the All-Africa Games bronze-medal winning group, including goalkeeper Emmanuel Daniel, defender Segun Oduduwa and mid fielders Oghenekaro Etebo, Kingsley Sokari and Daniel Etor, while old reliables like Christian Pyagbara, Mustapha Abdullahi and Austine Oladapo failed to make the cut.

Siasia also picked new faces include Anaezemba Nzube, Prince Aggrey, Stanley Dimgba, Kufre Ebong and Bature Yaro.

The selected players and coaching crew are expected to depart for Morocco where they will be joined by some overseas- based professionals. Siasia’s team will play Egypt, Algeria and Mali in Group B of the Africa U-23 Cup of Nations taking place in Senegal from 28 November to 12 December.

Mikel, Iheanacho swell Eagles camp

By Orkula Shaagee @shagcy

The Super Eagles camp in Abuja, ahead of Friday’s 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Swaziland in Lobamba received a boost, with the arrival of Chelsea midfielder Mikel Obi and Manchester City starlet Kelechi.

Mikel arrived Abuja early yesterday morning on board a British Airways flight.

Also in camp are Captain Ahmed Musa, goalkeepers Carl Ikeme, Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Dele Alampasu, defenders Efe Ambrose, Austin Oboroakpo, Chima Akas, Jamiu Alimi, Kalu Orji, Godfrey Oboabona, Wilfred Ndidi and Elderson Echiejile, midfielders Paul Onobi, Sylvester Igbonu and Rabiu Ibrahim, and forwards Odion Ighalo, Ezekiel Bassey, Alex Iwobi and Moses Simon.

Portugal-based defender Abdullahi Shehu, midfielder Ogenyi Onazi and US-based forward Obafemi Martins were still being expected last night.

The strike embarked upon by workers of Lufthansa Airlines delayed the arrival of most of the players, as the Nigeria Football Federation had to quickly re-book players on British Airways.

Officials of the National Football Association of Swaziland confirmed to the NFF on Tuesday that landing permit for the chartered flight, which will fly the Nigeria delegation to Swaziland, has been secured.

The ARIK Air Boeing 737-800 aircraft is expected to depart from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja at 7am on Thursday, and will land at the Matsapha International Airport by 2pm same day.

Super Eagles’ players and officials will stay at The Sun Hotels, while the official training at the Somhlolo National Stadium, Lobamba has been set for 7pm on Thursday.

The match between the Super Eagles and the Sihlangu Somnikati will kick off at 7pm on Friday, 13th November, with Germain Koole of Benin Republic as the referee. He will be assisted by compatriots Bienvenu Dina, Sena Ulrich Houedin and Gustave Eugene Tohouegnon as assistant 1, assistant 2 and fourth official respectively.

Mohamed Bahou from Morocco will be the referee assessor with Zambian Joseph Nkole as match commissioner.

The Nigeria delegation will depart Swaziland immediately after the match and fly direct to Port Harcourt.

Both teams will clash in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, 17th November, with the winner going straight into the 20-team, mini-league phase beginning next year.

Victorious Eaglets to arrive Nigeria today

By Mansur Abubakar

Fresh from their victorious outing at the FIFA U-17 World Cup where they were crowned champions, the Golden Eaglets will return to the country today aboard a chartered flight. According to an official of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

The team is expected to fly straight to Abuja, where Glass House and National Sports Commission (NSC) officials will receive them before being presented to Nigerians.

It is not certain when they will go to the Aso Rock Villa to present the trophy to President Mohammed Buhari.

Victor Osimhen and Funsho Bamgboye scored for Nigeria as they defeated African champions Mali 2-0 in the final played early on Monday. It’s the fifth time Nigeria will win the age group competition which is a new record.

Also expecting the team is the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, who said “You have made us proud and proved your mettle. We await your return with the trophy.”

Meanwhile, English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur have been identified as the club who are leading the chase for record breaker Osimhen, who topped the goals chart at the Chile Mundial with ten goals.

Representatives of side Spurs have contacted Osimhen’s Ultimate Strikers Academy in Lagos, according to The Daily Mail.

Osimhen’s all-action style is likened to Chelsea legend Didier Drogba, who incidentally the youngster idolizes.

The big centre-forward has scored in all of Nigeria’s games at the World Cup in Chile including hat-trick in the Round of 16 clash against Australia. His goals have surpassed the previous all-time record at this competition.

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