Politics

AFCON Qualifiers: Super Eagles begin training in Abuja as Sierra Leone arrive for group opener


The Nigeria national football team Sunday evening at the Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja, kick-started their preparation for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying series.

After the losses suffered in the friendly games against Mexico and then Ecuador, the Super Eagles are set to go head-on against Sierra Leone stars before flying out to Marrakech to face Sao Tome and Principe.

Despite showing a glimpse of fresh air under the tutelage of the new Portuguese manager, Jose Peseiro, the Super Eagles lost 2-1 to Mexico in Dallas before they were beaten 1-0 in New Jersey five days later in New Jersey.

For the double header ahead of him, Peseiro has called up captain Ahmed Musa, deputy captain William Ekong and 25 other players to the camp to battle against Sierra Leone and São Tomé and Príncipe.

While sticking majorly with the players that were on the ground for the Mexico and Ecuador friendly matches, Peseiro added Israeli –based goalkeeper Adebayo Adeleye, defenders Abdullahi Shehu, Zaidu Sanusi, Leon Balogun and Kenneth Omeruo for the qualifiers.

He also named midfielders Oghenekaro Etebo and Frank Onyeka, and forwards Victor Osimhen, Samuel Chukwueze, Ademola Lookman and Sadiq Umar for the Sierra Leone and São Tomé and Príncipe ties.

Meanwhile, the Sierra Leone entourage has arrived in Nigeria ahead of Thursday’s tie.

The Leone Stars were welcomed by officials of their country’s Embassy in Nigeria led by the Deputy High Commissioner Madam Anna Betty Moussa.

In her speech, she welcomed the players to Nigeria and urged them to make Sierra Leone proud on match day.

” We are proud of you and we have faith and confidence that you will do the nation proud on Thursday,” said the ambassador.

The captain of the team, Steven Caulker, responded on behalf of the squad and said: “We are here and we promise to do our best to give Sierra Leoneans a very respectable result”.

The game against Sierra Leone on Thursday will be Peseiro’s first official game in charge of the Super Eagles and he is hoping to start on the right footing.

FULL LIST: SUPER EAGLES FOR SIERRA LEONE AND SÃO TOMÉ & PRÍNCIPE

Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (AC Omonia, Cyprus); Adewale Adeyinka (Akwa United); Adebayo Adeleye (Hapoel Jerusalem, Israel)

Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); William Ekong (Watford FC, England); Abdullahi Shehu (AC Omonia, Cyprus); Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal); Chidozie Awaziem (Alanyaspor FC, Turkey); Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Calvin Bassey (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Sani Faisal (Katsina United); Leon Balogun (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain)

Midfielders: Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Watford FC, England); Innocent Bonke (FC Lorient, France); Frank Onyeka (Brentford FC, England)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Fatih Karagumruk, Turkey); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal CF, Spain); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Victor Osimhen (SSC Napoli, Italy); Cyriel Dessers (Feyenoord FC, The Netherlands); Ademola Lookman (Leicester City, England); Sadiq Umar (UD Almeria, Spain); Terem Moffi (FC Lorient, France); Emmanuel Dennis(Watford, England)


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