Nigeria, Brazil Confirm Friendly Match Date

BrazilThe Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the Confederacao Brasileira de Futebol (CBF) have confirmed that their U-23 squads will play an international friendly match in Brazil on Thursday, March 24.

“The CBF is happy to host the champions of Africa, Nigeria Olympic team on the March 24 FIFA date at 7pm at the stadium of Kleber Andrade in the city of Cariacica, Vitoria, Espirito Santo.

“The match will serve as preparation for both teams for their participation in the Olympic Games Rio 2016,” the statement from CBF read.

NFF’s FIFA Match Agent, Jairo Pachon of Eurodata Sport told thenff.com: “The match is sealed. We are happy to be able to swing this one and it will serve as good preparation for the Nigeria Olympic team ahead of Rio 2016.”

Both teams were involved in one of the most memorable matches in the history of the men’s football tournament of the Olympics, back in 1996, when the Dream Team came back from 1-3 down to eliminate Brazil in the semi finals. Nigeria beat Argentina 3-2 in the final to claim Africa’s first–ever Olympics football gold.

Meanwhile, Coach Samson Siasia, has listed a total of 30 players for the international friendly match against Brazil coming up towards the end of March.

The list is a mixture of old players that Siasia has worked with over the course of the qualifying matches for the All-Africa Games and the Games proper and the qualifying matches for the Africa U-23 Cup of Nations and the championship proper, as well as new faces he intends to take a close look at.

According to Coach Siasia: “For now, I want to assume that I don’t have a team, as every Nigerian player within the age bracket that is good get a chance to fight for a place in my team to the Olympics. I intend to use friendly games like this to try out as many players as I can, so that as we get closer to the games I will have a mental picture of the players I will be taking for my final training camp before the Games.

“For now, I invited this large number of players because I know not all of them will be able to make it even though we have sent out invitation letters to all of them. My major concern now is for them to come with letters from their clubs indicating that if they are eventually selected for the Games, their clubs will allow them report to camp when needed.”

Siasia added that as a lot of overseas-based players have shown interest in playing for the country at the Olympics, he intends to utilize all FIFA free windows so as to enable him and his assistants assess as many of them as possible.

“For now, we are concentrating on those players we have no picture of how they will adapt to our playing pattern.‎ We intend to invite more of such players as we go ahead. We already know some of the overseas –based pros we intend to work with, so we will be inviting those known faces as we progress in our build up to the Games.”

Among those invited from the domestic scene are goalkeepers Emmanuel Daniel and Yusuf Mohammed and defenders Erhun Obanor, Sincere Seth, Segun Oduduwa and Ndifreke Effiong. The overseas-based legion includes Captain Azubuike Okechukwu, Dele Alampasu, Stanley Amuzie, Saviour Godwin, Aminu Umar and Etebo Oghenekaro.

Invited Home Based Players

  1. Emmanuel Daniel
  2. Yusuf Mohammed
  3. Segun Oduduwa
  4. Erhun Obanor
  5. Sincere Seth
  6. Ndifreke Effiong
  7. Ubong Ekpai
  8. Bright Onyedikachi
  9. Stanley Dimgba

Overseas Based Players 

  1. Dele Alampasu
  2. Stanley Amuzie
  3. Usman Mohammed
  4. Azubuike Okechukwu
  5. Sadiq Popoola
  6. Etebo Oghenekaro
  7. Saviour Godwin
  8. Aminu Umar
  9. Alex Iwobi
  10. Iyayi Believe
  11. Junior Ajayi
  12. Taiwo Awoniyi
  13. Peter Olayinka
  14. Theophilus ‎ Solomon
  15. Godswill Ekpolo
  16. Sergio Uyi
  17. Ovbokha Agboyi
  18. Nathan Oduwa
  19. Musa Mohammed
  20. Saturday Ekiego
  21. Victor Osimhen

Coach Samson Siasia has been appointed to lead the Super Eagles. Fatai Amao will guide the U-23 in the interim.

 

Osimhen, Etebor Scoop CAF Young Players Awards

OsimhenGolden Eaglets striker, Victor Osimhen, has been named Africa’s best Youth Player for the year 2015.

Osimhen outclassed compatriot, Kelechi Nwakali, Mali pair of Adama Traore and Samuel Diarra and Yaw Yeboah of Ghana to win the award.

Osimhen set a new goal scoring record of 10 goals at the last FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile as Nigeria won a record fifth title.

Warri Wolves striker, Oghenekaro Etebor, was awarded the most promising talent for his exploit at the 2015 CAF U-23 Championship in Senegal where he finished as top scorer.

Etebor defeated compatriot, Azubuike Okechukwu, Mali’s Djigui Diarra, Mahmoud Abdelmonem of Egypt and Zinedine Ferhat of Algeria to clinch the award.

Okechukwu Named U-23 AFCON MVP

OkechukwuThe Confederation of African Football (CAF) has named Nigeria’s Under-23 team skipper, Azubuike Okechukwu, as the player of the tournament at the recently concluded Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations in Senegal (AFCON).

The Yeni Malatyaspor midfielder was adjudged the Most Valuable Player (MVP) by CAF’s Technical Study Group (TSG) after the tournament.

The 18-year-old played in all but one of Nigeria’s matches, missing the semifinal clash with hosts, Senegal, owing to accumulated cards in the group stages.

Warri Wolves forward, Oghenekaro Etebo, emerged the top scorer of the competition with five goals, while Algeria goalkeeper, Abdelkadir Salhi, was adjudged the best goalkeeper at the tournament.

Nigeria’s Under-23 team on Saturday defeated Algeria in the final of the Under-23 Africa Nations Championship to become African Champions for the first time.

 

Nigeria Wins Under-23 African Nations’ Championship

Under-23Nigeria’s Under-23 team on Saturday defeated Algeria in the final of the Under-23 Africa Nations Championship to become African Champions for the first time.

Nigeria opened scoring from the penalty spot through Oghenekaro Etebo after Victor Osimhen was brought down in the 12th minute.

Defender Olusegun Oduduwa put the score line at 1-1 with a headed own goal to help the Algerians get back in the game before Oghenekaro Etebo produced a fine run to score his second goal of the match making it  2-1 for Nigeria in the 40th minute.

Algeria were awarded their own penalty in the second half after Oduduwa again fouled an Algerian player but the Nigerian goalkeeper, Emmanuel Daniel, became the hero as he saved Zinedine Ferhat’s effort.

Oghenekaro Etebo finished as the tournament’s top scorer.

Nigeria’s semi final victory over hosts, Senegal had ensured they also qualified for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Saturday’s final clash at the Stade Léopold Sédar Senghor in Dakar, Senegal, was third time Nigeria and Algeria have met at the Under-23 level since the inaugural competition in Morocco in 2011.

Nigeria thrashed the North Africans 4-1 four years ago, before they played a goalless draw in a group game at the just concluded tournament in Senegal.

 

Dream Team Not Under Pressure – Siasia

siasiaDream Team VI Coach, Samson Siasia, has revealed that his team will go into Saturday’s final game against Algeria in a more relaxed mood, after qualifying for Rio 2016 Olympics.

Siasia said he is very happy to be in the finals of the CAF U-23 Nations Cup.

He said that the tournament has been a very long journey, with a lot of ups and downs.

The team captain, Azubuike Okechukwu, who just served out his one -match suspension, dismissed insinuations that the players are under pressure to win the Africa U-23 Cup of Nations, but that they will ensure they do the country proud.

Taiwo Awoniyi will also be feature in the Algeria clash. The striker is back in training after an ankle injury kept him out of Wednesday’s semi-final against hosts, Senegal.

Nigeria will lock horns with Algeria at the Stade Léopold Sédar Senghor in Dakar, 8pm Nigerian time.

Saturday’s clash will make it the third time both teams will meet at the U-23 level since the inaugural competition in Morocco in 2011.

Nigeria thrashed the North Africans 4-1 four years ago, before they played a goalless draw in a group game in Senegal.

Siasia Invites 31 Players To U-23 Training Camp

siasiaHead Coach of the Nigerian national U-23 team, Samson Siasia, has called up 31 players to camp in preparation for next month’s All-Africa Games, in Brazzaville, Congo.

The list, which is made up of mostly players who qualified the Dream Team for the games, has some new faces including Lucky Jimoh, Bright Onyedikachi and Olisah Ndah amongt others.

The invited players are expected to report in Abuja from Wednesday, August 12.

The dream team will face Ghana, Senegal and Egypt in Group B of the men’s football tournament from September 3 to 18.

Recently, Siasia picked 20 players for the crucial African U-23 Championship qualifier against Congo in Pointe-Noire.

 

 

 

Siasia Picks 20 Players For Congo Return Leg Clash

siasiaNigeria’s Under-23 Coach, Samson Siasia, has picked 20 players for Sunday’s crucial African U-23 Championship qualifier against Congo in Pointe-Noire.

While addressing the players after their last practice match at the FIFA/NFF Goal Project in Abuja on Wednesday, Coach Siasia said that all the players are good enough to make the trip, but it was impossible for everyone to be in Congo for the battle.

He assured the players left out to continue to work on their game as they could form part of the team for the All Africa Games.

“For those of you selected, this is a golden opportunity for you to show to Nigerians and the world that your first leg victory was not a flash in the pan, and as such you must fight hard when we get to Pointe Noire and beat the Congolese.”

The team takes a slim 2-1 win to Pointe Noire and must avoid defeat to stand a chance of qualifying for the eight nation CAF Under-23 Championship in Senegal.

The selected players for the task ahead are: Daniel Emmanuel, Atanda Sodiq, Stanley Amuzie, Azubuike Okechukwu, Olusegun Oduduwa, Erhun Obanor, Godwin Saviour, Etebo Oghenekaro, Junior Ajayi, Usman Mohammed, Etor Daniel, Yusuf Mohammed, Chima Akas, Semiu Liadi, Shehu Abdullahi, Kingsley Sokari, Taiwo Awoniyi, Umar Aminu, Austin Oladapo and Sincere Seth.