Beat Cameroon, Get $10,000 for Each Goal Scored, A’Ibom Tells Eagles

first_imgThis first game of the double-header World Cup 2018 qualifiers with the Indomitable Lions this weekend, will determine whether Nigeria will consolidate or drop points to the Paul Biya’s men.Nigeria with maximum six points from the first two matches of the Group Bis four points better than second-placed Cameroon, who arrived Uyo yesterday with the toga of African champions.A win here will take Nigeria to nine points, needing just one more victory to seal qualification to Russia 2018.But the Lions, who believe so much in their power play, that is, using their physique and aggressive style, would want to prove to the hosts that they are the African champions!Of course, Eagles have missed the continental showpiece on two occasions back-to-back. That however should be the reason why Gernot Rohr and his men need no more prodding to pick the points off the aggressive Cameroonians here before heading to Yaounde on Sunday for the reverse fixture on Monday evening. Nigeria can afford to gift the Lions the three points in Yaounde after today’s win. Anything short of victory in Uyo could spell doom for Nigeria in this competition.However, it is all in the bid to prevent this that Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, at a meeting with Eagles and their handlers yesterday, offered to pay a mouth-watering $10,000 for every goal scored against the Cameroonians at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium today.The banker-turned politician knows the weight of a promise. Gov. Emmanuelredeemed the $30,000 he promised Eagles for the three goals they scored against Algeria in the earlier match here in Uyo.He reiterated his promise to mobilise support for team to ensure total victory against the Indomitable Lions.“We are here because there is nothing as good as appreciating people, especially when the people are working for the general good. A love not expressed is a love wasted and so we are here to tell you that we appreciate what you are doing for Nigeria.“I also want to tell you that no matter how wild a cat is, there is a place you will hold it and it will not be able to harm you. Go there and win the game for us,” was the governor’s battle cry to the Eagles.Captain of the team, John Mikel Obi, who has promised his Russian in-laws that Nigeria must qualify for the Mundial apologised to Nigerians for the 2-0 loss to South Africa in the AFCON 2019 qualifier, assuring them that Eagles are here to make amends with victory over Cameroon.He said the team has been training hard for the game and would show Nigerians that they are hungry to be at the World Cup.The former Chelsea midfielder stressed that a win here today will help strengthen his personal ambition of a second World Cup appearance.“I think the players know what is at stake here. The players always know what the task ahead is all about despite winning our opening games. We want to go to the World Cup. We have to win games and make sure we are focused all the time and also play well. The truth is you can’t play well in every game; a win is a win.“We just want to win. It doesn’t matter how well we play. I am sure the players all know that is the most important thing and I always speak to some of them and let them know how important it is to play for this country and how important it is to go to the World Cup and the Nations Cup. So on Friday (today), we can hopefully get a win and move close to qualifying for the World Cup,” observed Mikel.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram WORLD CUP 2018 QUALIFIER  Redeems $30,000 for three goals scored against AlgeriaDuro IkhazuagbeSuper Eagles claim to be one of the football powers in Africa will be tested to the limit this evening at the Nest of Champions in Uyo as reigning AFCON 2017 kings, Cameroon, battles Nigeria for the three points at stake.last_img read more

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Maduka Okoye: Answer to Eagles’ Goalkeeping Problem?

first_imgWhen Vincent Enyeama bowed out of international football after over a decade of manning the post for the senior national team, it was obvious he would be leaving a big vacuum. However, Carl Ikeme came in and fitted in perfectly but didn’t last long as the then Wolverhampton Wanderers FC safe hands was diagnosed with acute leukaemia in July. From then on, the post had been shared between the trio of Francis Uzoho, Ikechuckwu Ezenwa and Daniel Akpeyi, all of whom have not been convincing. Ahead of Nigeria/Ukraine friendly match, Super Eagles Manager, Gernot Rohr extended invitation to Fortuna Dusseldorf II goalkeeper, Maduka Okoye, though he did not man the post, but Rohr was convinced that Super Eagles’ goalkeeping problem is now a thing of the pastSuper Eagles manager, Gernot Rohr, last week assured Nigerian football fans that the goalkeeping problem that had plagued the national team was now a thing of the past.Since Vincent Enyeama retired from the national team, the Super Eagles have struggled to find a decent replacement, with the likes of Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Daniel Akpeyi failing to impress. Although Francis Uzoho did better than the duo when he was given the chance, his form has regressed since he moved to Cyprus due to a lack of activity at his club. However, after switching clubs last summer, he is back playing regularly and that showed in his performance in Nigeria’s 2-2 draw with Ukraine.With him back playing regularly and Fortuna Dusseldorf II goalkeeper, Maduka Okoye now in the team, Rohr believes the Super Eagles have solved their goalkeeping issues.The former Bordeaux manager said this in an interview on NFF twitter handle: “Our goalkeeper, Uzoho is much better, because he is playing in his club, and even in the goalkeeper positions we had problems, but we see that, we have already the answer.”Okoye could not hide his joy when he hooked up with the Nigeria national team players in Kyiv ahead of the international friendly against Ukraine.The Fortuna Dusseldorf shot-stopper earned his first call up to the senior Team after Rohr released his 18-man list for the September 10 showdown with Ukraine.“Can‘t express my feelings and how happy I am to get my first call up for the Super Eagles. All praise to the Most High ,” he said.Meanwhile, Ikechukwu Ezenwa has stated that Maduka Okoye is a wonderful person to work with, and always want to learn just in his first spell with the senior national team. “Maduka is a brother, a wonderful person that always want to learn. It’s always nice meeting new goalkeepers and I think he is a wonderful person, he wants to learn just like the way I was brought up in my goalkeeping career.“I thank God he is now in the team and we are going to work together as brothers to give our best for our beloved country Nigeria,” Ezenwa concluded.Super Eagles goalkeeper coach, Alloy Agu, has urged 20-year-old goalkeeper to wait for his time, as the youngster was an unused substitute in the international friendly against Ukraine.Despite the concerns over the goalkeeping department in the Super Eagles, Rohr opted not to give the Fortuna Düsseldorf first choice game time.In a bid to quell the growing frustration with the coach’s decision, Agu insists the player will get his moment.“We can’t put everyone at the same time, it’s a gradual process and another friendly is coming up in October,” the former Super Eagles goalkeeper said.“By his grace, we are working with all the players, Maduka inclusive; we have seen him, he has a lot of quality, we would continue to work with him and every player invited will surely get to play.”Maduka was born in Dusseldorf, Germany to a Nigerian father and a German mother and because of his dual citizenship, Okoye is eligible to play for either Germany or Nigeria but the former Bayern Leverkusen safe hands has expressed his desire to represent Nigeria ahead of his country of birth, thus making the job of convincing him easier for Rohr and his technical crew.He started his career in 2012 with Bayer Leverkusen, turning up for their youth team. In 2017, he left Bayer Leverkusen for Fortuna Dusseldorf, where he played for their youth team and the senior team. In 2018, he was fully promoted to Fortuna Dusseldorf II, a football team that plays in the Regionalliga West.In the summer of 2017, he left the youth team of Bayer Leverkusen, where he has played since 2012 to join the youth team of Fortuna Dusseldorf.On 14 October 2017, he made his professional debut in the Regionalliga West for Fortuna Dusseldorf II in a game against Wuppertaler SV, replacing the injured Max Schijns on the 43rd minute of the game. He finished the 2017/2018 season with just five appearances, conceding just one goal and keeping four clean sheets, while his club finished the season in the 15th position with 36 points after 34 games, narrowly escaping relegation to Oberliga.In the 2018/2019 season, he became the club regular goalkeeper and on 13 April, he played his last match of the season after being replaced in goal for the next matches by goalkeeper Jannick Theissen. He finished the season with 15 appearances, conceding 25 goals and keeping three clean sheets. This time, his club did better than the previous season, finishing the season in the 12th position with 42 points after 34 games.On 30 November 2017, Rohr talked about his plans to invite Maduka to the Nigerian national team before the 2018 World Cup, but the plans wasn’t a success.On 22 February 2019, he was invited to the Nigeria U-23 team for the 2019 African U-23 Cup of Nations qualifier against Libya, but failed to make a debut, due to club engagement.On 26 July 2019, Rohr, hinted that he was shifting his focus to Maduka as he looks to solve the goalkeeping crisis that has rocked his team since Ikeme quit due to illness. He was invited for a friendly against Ukraine.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

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Incredible rising star set for Premier League move next season? (Video)

first_imgMan United, Liverpool and Bayern Munich were among the teams chasing Martin Odegaard in January.In the end Real Madrid succeeded in convincing him to join and the 16-year-old has been turning heads in his appearances for the club’s reserves. Now, though, it is being reported Premier League club Southampton will offer to further develop Odegaard.SAINTS WANT ODEGAARD ON LOANDespite his young age the Norweigian has already represented his country three times. Check him out in action for Stromsgodset, below, prior to his move to Spain.Keep up to date with all transfer rumours by clicking here.last_img read more

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