In preparation for this month’s 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against the Djurtus of Guinea Bissau, head coach José Santos Peseiro has invited team captain Ahmed Musa, in-form Victor Osimhen and Ademola Lookman, and 20 other players to the Super Eagles’ camp.
Nigeria and Guinea Bissau clash at the Moshood Abiola Public Arena, Abuja from 5pm on Friday, 24th Walk, and afterward make it a second date at the Estadio 24 de Setembro in Bissau on Monday, 27th Walk, likewise beginning from 5pm.
Kenneth Omeruo, a defender from Spain, makes his return alongside Wilfred Ndidi and Frank Onyeka, two enforcers in the midfield. Bruno Onyemaechi, a defender from Portugal, gets a chance to compete for a shirt with Semi Ajayi, Bright Osayi-Samuel, Kevin Akpoguma, and Calvin Bassey.
The usual suspects Alex Iwobi, Joe Aribo, Kelechi Iheanacho, Samuel Chukwueze, Moses Simon, Terem Moffi, and Paul Onuachu are also called up, as is the Portugal-based left back Zaidu Sanusi.
Daniel Bameyi is named captain of the Nigeria U20 team, which came in third place at the recent Africa U20 Cup of Nations in Egypt. Chijioke Aniagboso is the team’s goalkeeper.
Victor Sochima, an experienced goalkeeper who has helped Rivers United FC get closer to a CAF Confederation Cup quarterfinal spot, will compete with Francis Uzoho for the No. 1 jersey.
On Sunday, March 19, players are anticipated to begin arriving at the team camp in Abuja. The Djurtus are in second place with four points from their defeats of Sao Tome and Principe and the Leone Stars, respectively, while table-toppers Nigeria are on maximum six points from their defeats of Sierra Leone and Sao Tome and Principe.
Osimhen, who plays for the Eagles out of Italy, has scored 23 goals in 28 matches this season, four of which have helped his team reach the last eight of the UEFA Champions League for the first time. He also scored four goals when the Eagles beat Sao Tome and Principe 10-0 in a record international scoreline nine months ago in Agadir, Morocco.
Invited Players in full:
Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (AC Omonia, Cyprus); Victor Sochima (Rivers United); Kingsley Aniagboso (Giant Brillars)
Defenders: Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Bright Osayi-Samuel (Fenerbahce SK, Turkey); Kevin Akpoguma (TSG Hoffenheim, Germany); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Calvin Bassey (FC Ajax, The Netherlands); Daniel Bameyi (YumYum FC); Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal); Bruno Onyemaechi (Boavista FC, Portugal)
Midfielders: Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Frank Onyeka (Brentford FC, England); Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Joe Aribo (Southampton, England)
Forwards: Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Ahmed Musa (Sivasspor K, Turkey); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal CF, Spain); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Ademola Lookman (Atalanta BC, Italy); Terem Moffi (OGC Nice, France); Victor Osimhen (Napoli FC, Italy); Paul Onuachu (Southampton FC, England)
Zero Nigerian officials made list as CAF drops referees for AFCON 2023
CAF’s release of the list of referees for the 2023 Africa Nations Cup in Ivory Coast has raised concerns as there are no Nigerian officials listed in any category.
Despite Nigeria’s qualification for the tournament, there is a notable absence of Nigerian referees on the AFCON shortlist.
This issue highlights the need for Nigeria to develop and produce more qualified referees to participate in prestigious continental tournaments like the Africa Nations Cup.
The last Nigerian referee to officiate at the AFCON was Emmanuel Imiere back in 2006.
With the tournament set to begin in January 2024, this absence underscores the urgency for Nigeria to address its refereeing development programs and produce more qualified officials.
Ahmed Musa out as Super Eagles head coach Peseiro names 23-man squad for Sao Tome clash
Super Eagles coach Jose Peseiro has made some notable omissions, including Ahmed Musa, Zaidu Sanusi, and Alex Iwobi (due to injury), from the final squad for Nigeria’s upcoming Africa Cup of Nations qualification match against Sao Tome and Principe.
The squad, consisting of 23 players, includes key figures like on-field captain William Ekong, Tyronne Ebuehi, Semi Ajayi, Wilfred Ndidi, Frank Onyeka, Moses Simon, Victor Osimhen, and Taiwo Awoniyi.
The team comprises three goalkeepers, eight defenders, four midfielders, and eight forwards. This match is crucial for Nigeria, as they need to secure at least one point to secure the top spot in their group, having already qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations finals.
Peseiro has also included some new faces in the squad, such as Belgium-based center-back Jordan Torunarigha, forwards Victor Boniface and Gift Orban, and recalls for Portugal-based left-back Bruno Onyemaechi and defensive midfielder Raphael Onyedika.
All Called-up Players:
Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Omonia FC, Cyprus); Olorunleke Ojo (Enyimba FC); Adebayo Adeleye (Hapoel Jerusalem, Israel)
Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Nottingham Forest, England); Tyronne Ebuehi (Empoli FC, Italy); Jordan Torunarigha (KAA Gent, Belgium); William Ekong (PAOK FC, Greece); Semi Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Calvin Bassey (Fulham FC, England); Jamilu Collins (Cardiff FC, Wales); Bruno Onyemaechi (Boavista FC, Portugal)
Midfielders: Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Raphael Onyedika (Club Brugge, Belgium); Joe Ayodele-Aribo (Southampton FC, England); Frank Onyeka (Brentford FC, England)
Forwards: Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Samuel Chukwueze (AC Milan, Italy); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Ademola Lookman (Atalanta FC, Italy); Victor Osimhen (Napoli FC, Italy); Taiwo Awoniyi (Nottingham Forest, England); Gift Orban (KAA Gent, Belgium); Victor Boniface (Bayern Leverkusen, Germany)
Sierra Leone 2-3 Nigeria: Osimhen bags brace as Super Eagles qualify for 2023 AFCON
Victor Osimhen‘s remarkable performance propelled the Super Eagles to a thrilling 3-2 victory over Sierra Leone at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Stadium in Monrovia, Liberia.
With this win, Nigeria secured their place at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations with a game to spare.
Osimhen made an early impact, coming close to scoring with a well-executed header that was brilliantly saved by Sierra Leone’s goalkeeper.
However, he soon found the back of the net, opening the scoring for the Super Eagles. Displaying his exceptional skills, Osimhen raced onto a clearance and skillfully placed his finish over the goalkeeper to give Nigeria an early advantage.
In the 32nd minute, Osimhen doubled Nigeria’s lead with another well-taken goal. His impressive performance continued to solidify his status as the leading scorer in the AFCON qualification, surpassing Sadio Mane and extending his international goal tally to 17, joining the likes of Odion Ighalo, Ahmed Musa, and Samson Siasia in Nigeria’s all-time scoring chart.
Sierra Leone mounted a spirited comeback and managed to equalize through Bundu’s powerful strike from outside the box.
Nigeria’s goalkeeper Adeleye made crucial saves to prevent further goals, but it was Kelechi Iheanacho who had the final say.
With the last kick of the game, Iheanacho calmly slotted home the winning goal from a Zaidu Sanusi cross, securing Nigeria’s victory.
The win propelled the Super Eagles to the top of Group A with 12 points from five matches, ensuring their qualification for the 2023 Afcon.
Despite having one more game to play against Sao Tome and Principe on home soil, Nigeria can approach the match with a sense of accomplishment and anticipation for the upcoming tournament.
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