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Eagles ready for CHAN challenge –Ezenwa

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 ..says home-based stars can break into Rohr’s squad

 

Captain of the home-based Super Eagles, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, has said the players are ready for any challenge ahead of the African Nations Championship in Morocco.

Ezenwa who is also an integral part of the main senior national team, said preparation had been going on well and they were ready to take on any side at CHAN. Part of the team’s preparation included participation in the WAFU Cup of Nations tournament which took place in Cape Coast, Ghana in September 2017 (where the team finished as runners–up), participation in the Nigeria Professional Football League Super Six tournament in Kano in December 2017 (which it won) and a series of friendly matches during the last phase of camping in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

“We have been playing some friendly games and I must say it has been good preparation all round,” he said.

“The camping is coming to an end and we are in good shape to continue the next face of preparation in Morocco ahead of our first match.

“Rwanda, Libya and Equatorial Guinea are very good sides when it comes to the CHAN tournament, looking at the last edition, Rwanda were very tough and they performed better than us.

“Libya are former champions so they are no newcomers to the competition and for Equatorial Guinea, they will be coming with the bunch of players that played the World Cup qualifiers for them, so to be honest, it’s going to be a very tough group for us but we are up to the task.” Speaking further, the Enyimba shot stopper revealed that they were going to take each game as it comes, while also harping on the unity in the team which has given him confidence that they are going to perform well.

Meanwhile, Ezenwa was of the belief that some members of the homebased team could break into the main team ahead of the World Cup and be part of the party to Russia.

The former FC IfeanyiUbah goalkeeper added: “I think any player that d o e s very well will have an opportunity because the Manager, Gernot Rohr, will be in Morocco with us just like he was with us in Ghana where some players who did well were invited for the FIFA World Cup qualifier against Zambia.

“I strongly believe anyone who proves himself well will definitely get a look-in, but the most important thing for us right now is to go to Morocco and do the nation proud by winning the trophy.”

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Taribo West: Eagles’ character vital in Russia

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Ex-international, Taribo West, has stated that the character of the Super Eagles will help them to excel at the World Cup in Russia. Speaking with our correspondent, West said the team’s strength was based on their collectiveness and that would make them difficult to beat in Russia.

“The good thing about this set of Eagles is that they play on their strength and that is the level of fitness and teamwork,” he said. “When you play a team that has no standout player but all playing for each other, they play as a unit, with strong stamina, they will not just surprise the people in their group but also everyone at the tournament. “In the past, we looked up to one or two players to make the difference in a difficult situation, but when you expect a player like Victor Moses, another like Alex Iwobi will turn up.

At times it will be the defender and that is the true strength of this team.” He also said the decision of the Nigeria Football Federation to honour exinternationals in a recent award ceremony, Aiteo/ NFF Awards, was a good initiative. According to him, all those who have been holding grudges against the team and the federation in the past would have forgiven them after the NFF honoured them. He also applauded the NFF for the preparation given to the team and all the other friendly games lined up to takeplace in the coming days.

He added: “The grudges and the pains have been released and the blessings that follow reconciliation will follow for the team and the federation. The performance will be awesome at the World Cup. “For how far the NFF, have gone, it has been fantastic and the plans also good enough for the team. If you look at the numbers of friendly games, I will say I am satisfied.”

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Akwa Utd thank Udom, Nigerians for support

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The Management of Akwa United FC have expressed appreciation to Nigerians for their prayers and supports which they said helped a great deal in their qualification to the First Round of the CAF Confederation Cup competition on Wednesday in Banjul.

Speaking after the team’s victory against Hawks FC in Banjul, Chairman of the club, Elder Paul Bassey, expressed gratitude, first to God and to Nigerians for standing by the team despite the first leg lost in Uyo. Bassey was particularly grateful to Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State for his massive support and trust in the team even during the most difficult times.

“When we received the good news that Plateau United and MFMFC had qualified, we knew that we had to win and we reacted positively by keeping the Nigerian flag flying on the continent. “The level of support we received from Nigerians before the game was awesome and we thank the Almighty God who made it possible,” Bassey said.

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Rohr considers Martins for World Cup

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Obafemi Martins looks set to gate crash the Super Eagles final squad to the World Cup in Russia after he scored a goal and provided an assist for Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua to draw 2-2 with Sydney FC of Australia in the Asia Champions League. Martins opened scoring after 26 minutes, before he assisted for his team’s second goal.

The nippy striker has been firing goals in the Chinese Super League. Sources have said he had now in serious contention for a place on the Super Eagles World Cup squad as coach Gernot Rohr is shopping for a proven goal scorer. ‘Oba-goal’ has scored goals in Italy, Spain, England, Russia and in the Major League Soccer League (MLS) in the United States of America.

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