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Exclusive: Former Nigerian Star Warns Super Eagles Against Underrating Squirrels Of Benin

 Ex international, Mutiu Adeppju has warned the technical crew and the Super Eagles players never to under-estimate the Squirrels of Benin in today’s (Wednesday) Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium.Having played two draws in their international friendly games against Ukraine and five-time World Cup champions, the Samba Boys of Brazil, the headmaster, told Soccernet.ng that the team should approach the Squirrels game with all sense of seriousness.He warned against underestimating the Benin side and urged the Super Eagles strikers not to be profligacy in front of goal.“This is Nigeria’s first game in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers and it will be right to start on a winning note,” Adepoju told Soccernet.ng.“I am so delighted with the caliber of players in the team and I think Super Eagles manager, Gernot Rohr has done a good with the team. However, the team must ensure that they don’t underestimate theSquirrels of Benin in Uyo. Yes, the two friendly encounters the team played against Ukraine and Brazil were excellent but then, this is Africa and Africa football is different from these two countries we played against.“Our strikers must ensure that they…

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NFF Officials Can’t Influence My Selection : Rohr

Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr insists he will not allow intefrence in his selection of players for the team, reportsNigeria Football Federation president, Amaju Pinnick stated in a television interview on Monday that Rohr would be mandated to reside in Nigeria and monitor the Nigeria Professional Football League as part of the conditions for him to be handed a new contract.But the German tactician declared that he would only select players on merit irrespective of where they are playing.“I know he (Pinnick) sometimes has a different opinion to mine, but then, it is football. I never accept it to make a choice coming from the officials; my choice is the choice of sports arguments only, to take the best players,”Rohr told reporters in Uyo on Tuesday.“Unfortunately, we could not take more players from the local league because they did not play, so it was difficult for them to be fit.“I know that some people cannot be happy about my choice but I can tell you it is my choice, it is always honest.”

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Okonkwo, Nwakali, Awoniyi Strike As Dream Team Secure Victory against Zambia

 Nigeria recorded a thrilling 3-1 victory over Zambia in their second match of this year's U-23 African Cup Of Nations tournament at the All Salam Stadium on Tuesday evening.Coach Imama Amapakabo made changes to the team that lost to Ivory Coast last time out, with Azubuike Okechukwu, Valentine Ozonwafor, Sincere Seth and Bitok Stephen all coming into the side from the off.The Zambian duo of Enock Mwepu and Patson Daka looked a thorn in the flesh for the Dream Team and twice combined in the early exchanges, but Valentine Ozonwafor was quick to block a shot by the former inside the opening five minutes.Emmanuel Banda was next to threaten for the Zambians when he shot low but his effort was blocked.The opposition's threat soon paid off in the 12th minute when Daka beat Adamu Abubakar from the left side of the box after a swift break led by Banda.But Nigeria hauled themselves level four minutes later as Bologna's Orji Okonkwo found the bottom left corner after Ibrahim Sunusi had set him up from a corner situation.Liverpool-owned striker Taiwo Awoniyi twice went close in the first half, first seeing his header kept out following…

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Full house as nine Nigeria players arrive for Benin and Lesotho Afcon qualifiers

Gernot Rohr now has a complete team to work on before Wednesday’s match against the Squirrels in UyoNigeria’s 23 players for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nationsqualifiers against Benin and Lesotho have all landed in Uyo.Players who checked into the Ibom Meridien Hotel and Resorts on Tuesday are Joe Aribo, William Troost-Ekong, Moses Simon, Mikel Agu, Abdullahi Shehu, Samuel Chukwueze, Emmanuel Dennis, Mikel Agu and Ifeanyi Anaemena.The Super Eagles’ camp for the continental fixtures was opened on Sunday ahead of Wednesday’s match at Godswill Akpabio Stadium and Sunday’s fixture against Lesotho in Maseru.Nigeria will have their first training session at Godswill Akpabio Stadium on Tuesday evening after holding a brief session at the team's hotel on Monday.

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Nigeria vs Benin Preview: Super Eagles’ Gernot Rohr To Unleash Osimhen, Aribo In Hunt For Squirrels

Exactly one month after forcing five-time world champions Brazil to a 1-1 draw in a friendly tie played in Singapore, the Super Eagles of Nigeria return to Uyo to square up against the Squirrels of Benin in the opening match of the qualifying series of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations tournament.Earlier in the year, coach Gernot Rohr’s men finished in third place at the 2019 edition of the AFCON hosted by Egypt, a championship where Benin made it to the knockout round of the competition for the first time ever, albeit as one of the best third-placed teams in the group.Nigeria are three-time African champions and huge favourites to claim a big win over coach Michel Dussuyer’s men but there are very few football minnows left on the continent and a Benin team that held its own against Cameroon, Morocco and Senegal, narrowly losing to the latter in Egypt is not one of them.Team NewsNigeriaCoach Gernot Rohr welcomes back captain Ahmed Musa after a two-month injury layoff and there is a return also for the duo of goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi and defender Kenneth Omeruo after both missed the two friendly games against Ukraine and…

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Dream Team midfielder pays respect to Austin Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu

Watford midfielder Tom Dele-Bashiru says he has dreams of emulating Austin Okocha and Nwankwo Kanu as he looks forward to tonight’s AFCON U-23 group B clash against the Young Chipopolo of Zambia at the Al Salam Stadium in Cairo.Both Okocha and Kanu won the Olympic gold in the football event at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and Bashiru says he is excited about the prospect of representing his nation in Tokyo next year.However that can only be accomplished if Nigeria pick one of the three tickets reserved for the continent.“Jay-Jay Okocha is my hero. I just loved his playing style and watched videos of him all the time when I was growing up. He’s a big hero of mine, as is Kanu.”.Watford midfielder Tom Dele-Bashiru says he has dreams of emulating Austin Okocha and Nwankwo Kanu as he looks forward to tonight’s AFCON U-23 group B clash against the Young Chipopolo of Zambia at the Al Salam Stadium in Cairo.Both Okocha and Kanu won the Olympic gold in the football event at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and Bashiru says he is excited about the prospect of representing his nation in Tokyo next year.However…

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CAFCC: Enyimba, Rangers Get Group Stage Opponents

Enyimba and Rangers will come up against North African oppositions in the group stage of the CAF Confederation Cup, reports Completesports.com.The draw ceremony took place on Tuesday at the CAF headquarters in Cairo.Rangers will compete in Group A along with reigning Mauritanian champions FC Nouadhibou as well as two Egyptian clubs, Pyramids FC and Al Masry.Former African champions, Enyimba are in Group D with Ivorian side, San-Pédro, Moroccan outfit Hassania Union Sport Agadir and Algerian side Paradou Athletic Club.Group stage matches will commence on December Ist with all the teams facing off in home and away ties and the top two sides qualifying to the knockout round.No Nigerian club has won the CAF Confederation Cup title.

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U-23 AFCON: Imama Amapakabo banks on Okechukwu Azubuike, Taiwo Awoniyi for victory against Zambia

Olympic Eagles head coach Imama Amapakabo is hopeful the arrival of Okechukwu Azubuike and Taiwo Awoniyi will help turn around the fortunes of the team following the 1-0 defeat to Cote d’Ivoire in their first game at the 2019 Africa U-23 Cup of Nations in Egypt.The Eagles will take on Zambia in a make or mar encounter at the Al Salam Stadium, Cairo on Tuesday (today).The defending champions must pick up the maximum points to return to contention for a place in the semi-finals of the competition, ahead of their final Group B clash with South Africa on Friday.“I am happy we now have Awoniyi and our captain, Azubuike. They are integral to the team and were influential in our qualifying matches. We will throw everything into the game against Zambia because we have left ourselves no choice at this point,” Imama told NFF website.“I believe we have the team to not only overcome Zambia but go all the way in the tournament. We stumbled against the Ivorians but we have learnt from that and we now look forward to rescuing our campaign against the Zambians and South Africans.”Only the top three finishers at the…

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AFCONQ: Ahmed Musa reveals Super Eagles target after recovering from injury

Super Eagles captain Ahmed Musa says he’s excited staging a return to the national team after missing out recent games due to injury.The Al Nassr forward is now very fit and ready to lead the Eagles out in their first game of the 2021 AFCON qualifiers against Benin Republic’s Squirrels.Speaking, the former Kano Pillars, who would be eyeing his 88 caps for Nigeria during the encounter insists he’s ready to play any time the technical crew deems fit.”I thank God I’m fit and back to play for the team, any time the coach give me to play on the pitch, I’m ready to comply and play,” Musa summed up.The 22-year-old completed the most tackles (7) in the encounter, managed a 100 percent passing accuracy in the final third and also made key interceptions (3) and successful take-on (3).However, the pundit was impressed with the qualities of the Super Eagles midfielder.“For such a young man he plays with so much assurance.”The former Genk midfielder is part of the Super Eagles team looking to face Benin and Lesotho on Tuesday and Sunday respectively for the 2021 AFCON qualifiers.

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Mbah Nets Six Goals In Northern Cyprus, Eyes Olympic Eagles Call-Up

Alsancak Yesilova of Northern Cyprus forward Chigozie Mbah hopes to get an opportunity to represent Nigeria first at U-23 level following his current impressive form in the K-Pet Super Lig.The winger joined Turkish Cypriot side, MSK Zilina from a youth club in England, Brook House College, in 2016. He later switched to Slavia Sofia of Bulgaria before he was snapped up by Alsancak Yesilova in 2018.Mbah, 22, has scored six times for Alsancsk Yesilova in nine appearances, this term, a performance he strongly believes, is good enough to earn him the Olympic Eagles opportunity to prove he is good enough to represent Nigeria.“I’m delighted to have scored six goals in nine matches so far this season,” Mbah told Completesports.com.“I’ve played in three different positions this season. I have played as a winger, both on left and right sides of the field. I’ve also played as a top striker and I’m really enjoying it. I just want to sustain my goal-scoring form.Mbah could not play for any team last season as a result of visa related issues and now can’t to hide his disappointment over that setback..“It was not a good one for me not…