Fans will this weekend return to match centres across the country as the Nigeria Professional Football League resumes after few weeks break. The second half of the season will commence on tomorrow across various centres with MFM taking on Akwa United in one of the matches. MFM has been one of the sensation of the season and will be up against Akwa who despite starting the season slowly has been on the rise recently.
They have in their rank the most deadly partnership in Sikiru Olatunbosun, Chukwuma Onuwa and NPFL top scorer, Stephen Odey while their opponent would be relying on the scoring prowess of Super Eagles invitee, Ibrahim Alhassan, who has been scoring goals for the club. The coach of bottom side, Remo FC, Fatai Osho, has vowed that the team would escape the drop and to achieve that, the club must start with a victory against Enyimba when the two lock horns in Sagamu on Sunday.
It has been a difficult season for the team and will have to start getting the results if truly they want to retain their elite division status. League leader, Plateau United, will be away to Katsina United with the hope of starting the second half the way they started the first with an away victory.
Resurgent Rangers will return to the league against opponent they ended the first half against and will be buoyed with their result against the same opponent, scoring a last minute goal to secure a 3-3 away draw in Gombe. Other matches scheduled for the weekend will see ABS taking on El-Kanemi Warriors in Ilorin while Niger Tornadoes play away to Kano Pillars.
Sunshine Stars are yet to lose a match since the coming of Austin Eguavoen as the coach of the team and will be up against Lobi Stars as Shooting Stars welcome FC IfeanyiUbah to Ibadan. Plateau currently top the league table followed by MFM FC with El-Kanemi Warriors third.
Eagles’ll prove FIFA wrong – Rohr
Super Eagles Manager Gernot Rohr has said Nigeria will prove FIFA by emerging from Grop D of the World Cup despite being rated lowest in that section. Nigeria slipped in the current FIFA rankings; the Eagles are rated 56th in the world far behind Argentina, Croatia and even Iceland. Rohr is unfazed by the continuous tumbling of his team on FIFA rankings, saying the lads will prove their mettle when the tournament takes the centre stage in June.
“Everybody knows that FIFA is a respectable organization; they also know that we are ranked the lowest in our group but we want to prove to everyone what we can do by getting out of the group. We want go all the way in the competition and I trust my players they will do that,” the coach said at the venue of the NFF awards on Monday.
Echiejile seeks to cement Eagles’ position
Super Eagles’ left-back Elderson Echiejile is happy to return to the pitch after an injury spell in the past few months made him miss games for the country, AOIFootball.com reports.
The former AS Monaco player, who joined Belgium’s second division side Cercle Brugge on loan from Turkey’s Sivaspor on the final day of the winter transfer window, told AOIFootball.com exclusively that he was happy to be back and relished the opportunity to wear the Eagles’ jersey against Poland and Serbia next month. “It feels nice to be back after injury setbacks. I missed the games against Algeria and Argentina, but I’m back now and I want to always give my best for the country.
“The games against Poland and Serbia will be key to our World Cup preparations and I believe this kind of games can help us prepare well ahead of the tournament proper in June,” Echiejile said.
Echiejile further expressed confidence in cementing his left-back role, saying the competition is good for the team and will make the coaches select the best for the World Cup.
“Currently there are three or maybe four left-backs in the team; should I be scared? I don’t think so because this competition for places is a statement that the national team is returning to his glory days,” Echiejile concluded.
Meanwhile, the Super Eagles’ defender made his debut for second division side Cercle Brugge in a league game at the weekend. He featured for the entire duration of the encounter against St. Gilloise. He was booked for a foul in the 89th minute of the game.
Supporters’ Club plans to take 20 lucky fans to Russia 2018
National chairman of Nigeria Football Supporters Club, Reverend Samuel Ikpea, has confirmed plans to take 20 lucky Nigerian fans to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia through a planned raffle draw in Lagos on April 29.
Ikpea explained that following a partnership with Telecom Youth Games, 20 fans who would be picked at the April 29 draw would be sponsored to and fro Russia- including feeding, accommodation and transport “All Nigerians wishing to go to Russia to support the Super Eagles should do is to buy World Cup raffle draw tickets at the National Stadium, Lagos, State Football Association Secretariats nation wide for N200 only.
Once you are lucky to have your ticket picked at the draw, you are qualified for full sponsorship to and fro Russia,” concluded Ikpea. Meanwhile, the chairman has expressed shock over the death of Kano Pillars star, Chinedu Udoji in an auto crash. Udoji, a veteran of the league died on Sunday and Ikpea has described the sudden demise as a huge loss to Nigerian football. “On behalf of Nigeria Football Supporters Club, I sympathise with family of Udoji and Kano Pillars.
It’s indeed a painful death of a promising player. He was such a dedicated player from when he was captain of Enyimba of Aba before moving to Kano Pillars. “We at the Supporters Club pray God to give the Udoji Family, Kano Pillars F.C and the football fraternity the fortitude to bear the huge loss,” Ikpea said.
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