Troost-Ekong Revels In ‘Dream’ Winner For Nigeria

 

William Troost-Ekong said his late goal that earned Nigeria a 2-1 victory over South Africa and a spot in the Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals was a “dream moment”.

The center-back knocked home a corner in the 89th minute in Cairo as Nigeria advanced to the last four of the competition for the 15th time in 18 appearances.

“I dream about moments like this. To score and for it to be important for the team is amazing,” said Troost-Ekong.

READ ALSO: How Kanu Stole The Show After Super Eagles Beat Bafana Bafana

“It’s not my job to score, I’m a defender so I was happy we didn’t give away too many chances. After they scored from a set-piece I thought that I wanted revenge.

“We were confident we could score again. We didn’t want to go to extra time because we were going to be tired but I think it was the same for South Africa.”

Nigeria, who won the last of their three titles in 2013, will face Algeria or Ivory Coast on Sunday for a place in the July 19 final.

“I think every game is tough now. We’ve seen big teams lose and go out of the tournament so it’s going to be difficult whoever we face,” said Troost-Ekong. “We came here to try and win the trophy.”

How Kanu Stole The Show After Super Eagles Beat Bafana Bafana

 

Former captain of the Super Eagles, Nwankwo Kanu could not hold back from making a show of his joy over the victory of Nigeria in the quarterfinal game against South Africa. 

Just immediately after the referee blew the whistle, the former Arsenal and Inter Milan forward came down from the stands to show his support for the Super Eagles who defeated the Bafana Bafana by two goals to one.

In a short clip which Kanu shared on his official @papilokanu twitter page, the former Ajax striker could be seen cheering supporters at the Cairo International Stadium, with the fans chanting ‘Papilo! Papilo!!’.

READ ALSO: Two More Victories And We Are There, Buhari Tells Super Eagles

Below is the now viral video in which Kanu stole the show from the Super Eagles game on Wednesday.

Other Nigerian fans in Cairo were not left out of the show as some took to the streets singing and dancing in jubilation. On leaving the stadium, the Super Eagles were given a warm goodbye for their heroic performance, below is what it looked like.

Super Eagles Fly Past Bafana Bafana To AFCON Semis

 

William Troost-Ekong’s late winner sent Nigeria through to the semi-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations on Wednesday after a tense 2-1 victory over South Africa in Cairo.

Samuel Chukwueze fired the Super Eagles ahead in the first half in front of a healthy, largely pro-Nigerian crowd at the 75,000-capacity Cairo International Stadium.

But Bongani Zungu’s looping header brought South Africa level on 70 minutes, the goal awarded with the aid of VAR — introduced for the first time at the tournament from the quarter-final stage onwards — after it was initially ruled out for offside.

Centre-back Troost-Ekong then turned home at a corner a minute from time to set three-time champions Nigeria up with a clash against Algeria or Ivory Coast for a spot in the July 19 final.

Left-back Jamilu Collins made his first appearance in Egypt after shaking off a pre-tournament injury while Villarreal forward Chukwueze came in for Moses Simon in the Nigerian attack.

READ ALSO: Senegal Beat Benin 1-0, Advance To Semi Final

Stuart Baxter stuck with the same side that shocked hosts Egypt in the last round, as match-winner Thembinkosi Lorch retained his place despite Themba Zwane’s return from suspension.

Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr had suggested South Africa were favourites in the build-up following their defeat of the record seven-time champions, a tag Baxter promptly rejected with Bafana Bafana’s lone competitive win coming in qualifying for these finals.

Odion Ighalo’s goals have been the driving force behind Nigeria’s run here but it was emerging young forward Chukwueze, coming off a solid debut season in Spain’s top flight, who struck just before the half-hour to end the impasse.

Alex Iwobi skipped past a couple of defenders down the left before pulling back for Chukwueze, who swept into the corner as the ball trickled back his way after a first shot was blocked.

Following a stodgy first half Nigeria appeared the far sharper after the break, Peter Etebo rattling the crossbar with a superb 25-yard- free-kick destined for the top corner but for the fingertips of Ronwen Williams.

A number of promising attacks fizzled out for Nigeria and their lack of precision came back to haunt them when Zungu hauled South Africa level, nodding back across goal after a Percy Tau set-piece was shown upon a video review to have been flicked on by Ighalo.

But after their stunning elimination of Mohamed Salah’s Egypt there was to be no follow-up act from South Africa as Williams flapped at an inswinging corner and Troost-Ekong forced over the line to clinch victory for Nigeria.

Man Dies After Super Eagles Lose To Bafana Bafana

Nigeria’s Super Eagles loss to the Bafana Bafana of South Africa in a Nation’s Cup Qualifier has claimed the life of a man in Akure.

The man who was a retired soldier, and described as an ardent Eagles’ fan slumped moments after the team conceded the second goal and was rushed to a nearby hospital where he died.

He was said to have left his residence at Ajipowo area in Akure for the Barracks to watch the match in the company of some of his friends who were among those who notified his family and rushed him to a private hospital after he collapsed.

An eyewitness who pleaded anonymity also stated that the man was popularly called Mr Nigeria because of his patriotism, adding that he always had a Nigerian flag hanging on his motorcycle.

2019 AFCON Qualifiers: Tunisian Referee To Officiate Nigeria Vs South Africa

Super EaglesTunisian referee, Youssef Essrayri, will officiate today’s 2019 AFCON qualifiers between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and South Africa.

Essrayri will be assisted by compatriots Anouar Hmila and Yamen Melloulchi.

The match is billed to hold at the nest of champions in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State at 5:00 pm.

Kekana Ruled Out Of AFCON Qualifier Against Nigeria

AFCON 2017: Egypt Defeat Burkina Faso In Penalty Shootout To Reach FinalSouth Africa midfielder, Hlompho Kekana, has been ruled out of Saturday’s 2019 Africa Cup Of Nations qualifier against the Super Eagles of Nigeria in Uyo, owing to injury.

Fc Twente’s Kamohelo Mokotjo has also been withdrawn from the Bafana Bafana after sustaining an injury and has been replaced by Lebogang Phiri who recently signed for French Ligue 1 club Guingamp.

Meanwhile, South Africa’s coach, Stuart Baxter has named Thulani Hlatshwayo as the new Bafana Captain.

Hlatshwayo is the most in-form South African defender this season.

NFF Inspects Uyo Stadium For AFCON Qualifying Matches

Federation Cup, NFFAn inspection team led by the Chairman of the Nigeria Football Federation Technical and Development Committee, Barrister Chris Green, has expressed satisfaction with the current state of the playing turf of Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo.

The stadium is slated to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier between Nigeria and South Africa in eight weeks time.

Green, alongside NFF Deputy General Secretary, Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme inspected the magnificent facility, nicknamed “Nest of Champions” which hosted the 2017 AFCON qualifier between the Super Eagles and Tanzania in September 2016, as well as the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying battle between the Eagles and the Fennecs of Algeria five months ago.

“We are delighted with the state of the playing turf and other facilities at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, I can tell you that the pitch is just as it was when the Super Eagles played Algeria in the World Cup qualifier in November 2016.

“The fact that Julius Berger has also started some work on the turf is even more re-assuring. They are adding manure, and afterwards will do cutting and rolling, and they have the benefit of the weather at this period. By the time we host South Africa on June 10, the pitch will be one of the very best anywhere in Africa”, he said.

The visit to the capital of Akwa Ibom state was to ascertain the condition of the playing pitch and indeed other facilities at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, as well as the level of commitment of the State Government to hosting the big match.

After the inspection, the team reported, “Every inch of the field is covered by grass and the grass is lush green. Julius Berger (the company that built the stadium) has commenced work on the field for the purpose of bringing it to the best standard possible.

“Every other facility is in good condition. The condition of the field, as it is now, is good enough for matches to be played on it.

“The Akwa Ibom State Government has continued to show desire and commitment to hosting the match.

“However, in order to maintain the lush green state of the pitch, the inspection team has advised that no activity be carried out on it until ongoing work is completed and the 2019 AFCON qualifier between the Eagles and the Bafana Bafana is played”.

The “Nest of Champions” will also play host to the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches between the Super Eagles and Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions on August 2017 and between the Super Eagles and the Chipolopolo of Zambia on October 2017.

Bafana Bafana Postpone Appointment Of New Coach

Bafana Bafana Postpone Appointment Of New CoachThe South African Football Association (SAFA) has postponed the naming of new Bafana Bafana coach until next week.

The football body was expected to announce the new coach on Friday, but wanted the newly appointed coach present at the press conference.

SAFA has been in the hunt for a new coach since Shakes Mashaba was relieved of his duties.

Former England coach, Roy Hodgson; Morocco’s coach, Herve Renard and former Manchester United manager, carlos queiroz, are top contenders for the vacant post.

Bafana Bafana will commence qualifiers for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations against the Super Eagles of Nigeria in June.

South African Minister Shocked At Coach Ephraim Mashaba’s Suspension

South African Minister Shocked At Coach Ephraim Mashaba SuspensionSouth Africa’s Sports Minister, Fikile Mbalula, says he is taken aback by the suspension of national coach, Ephraim Mashaba, especially now that the national team is doing well.

South Africa’s football association suspended head coach Ephraim Mashaba after what it refers to as “a regrettable incident”, a day after he guided the team to a 2-1 World Cup qualifying home victory over Senegal.

SAFA gave no reason for the suspension, but there are indications the 66-year-old argued with officials from the national body after the match in Polokwane.

“Mashaba will not join the team on their trip to Mozambique”, read the FA’s statement.

It added: “The Association has deemed it necessary to employ disciplinary measures after a regrettable incident at Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday, 12 November 2016.”

There were also reports that he disrespected SAFA President, Danny Jordan.

His assistant Owen da Gama will take charge for the friendly against Mozambique in Maputo on Tuesday.

South Africa share first place in Group D with Burkina Faso on four points after two rounds.

Ahmed Musa Shines As Super Eagles Draw Bafana Bafana

Super EaglesAn injury time goal by Bongani Zungu helped South Africa to salvage a 1-1 draw with the Super Eagles of Nigeria in a friendly at Mbombela Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Zungu, with virtually the last kick of the game, earned a draw for the home side who had missed several chances in the game.

Nigeria’s interim coach, Daniel Amokachi, expressed disappointment at the manner in which his team surrendered their hard earned lead in the match.

Although the Super Eagles caretaker coach believes the draw with South Africa was a fair result, owing to how many chances were missed by the highly dominant Bafana Bafana, he expected his team would have shown more maturity in protecting their one goal lead.

An inexperienced Super Eagles outfit looked to be heading for victory when Ahmed Musa beat Itumeleng Khune with a fierce drive into the top corner in the 85th minute.

Amokachi said after the game, “It is fair game, coming away from home after losing to Uganda.

“Ninety-eight percent of the players are having their first, second or third cap.

“It is fair result but when your are winning and one goal up, conceding is not good. But that’s football, it’s not over until the fat lady sings and that’s what happened to us.”

He, however, had kind words for the Super Eagles’ stand-in captain and scorer of the team’s lone goal, Ahmed Musa.

He said that Ahmed Musa’s strike against Bafana Bafana reminded him of the goal the CSKA Moscow winger scored against Argentina at the 2014 World Cup.

“He’s a good player, we all know what an experienced player he is and what a world class player he is, and you could see the difference in the goal he scored,” says Amokachi.

“It’s also reminiscent of the goal he scored against Argentina at the World Cup.

“He’s brilliant at getting the ball and turning at the edge of the 18-yard area, and swinging it into the corner.”

Nigeria fielded a largely inexperienced team during the stalemate, and Amokachi says the test was to see whether they could perform to an expected level.

South Africa Friendly: 4 Dropped From Super Eagles Squad

Super EaglesInterim Super Eagles Coach, Daniel Amokachi, has named a 23-man roster for the upcoming international friendly against South Africa in Nelspruit on Sunday.

Four players plying their trade in the Nigerian league – Chidiebere Eze, Mfon Udoh, Ubong Ekpai and Onyekachi Okoye – would not be on the flight to South Africa.

An analysis of the roster revealed that 2 goalkeepers, 7 defenders, 8 midfielders and 6 strikers have a chance of earning further international caps in the tie against Bafana Bafana.

The former African champions are already in South Africa for the encounter.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria continued their abysmal performances by losing 1-0 at home to the Cranes of Uganda in the first of their two matches during the March international friendly window.

The East African side, considered the better in the match, scored in the 80th minute when Faruku Miya’s close range shot from the edge of the box, took a deflection off new boy, Akeem Latifu and sailed into the net.

The late goal turned out to be the party spoiler for Eagles’ Captain, Vincent Enyeama, who was celebrating his 100th cap for the Eagles. He later pulled out of the South Africa game due to injury sustained during the Uganda loss.

Cranes of Uganda Shock Super Eagles In Uyo

EaglesThe Super Eagles of Nigeria have continued their abysmal performances and this time losing 1-0 at home to the Cranes of Uganda in an international friendly.

The East African side, considered the better in the match, scored in the 80th minute when Faruku Miya’s close range shot from the edge of the box, took a deflection off new boy, Akeem Latifu and sailed into the net.

The late goal turned out to be the party spoiler for Eagles’ Captain, Vincent Enyeama, who was celebrating his 100th cap for the Eagles with the game.

Efforts by the 32 year old Lille goalkeeper to prevent the goal was futile as he was only able to parry the ball into his own net.

Enyeama is the second Nigerian after retired former Everton defender, Joseph Yobo, to make 100 appearances for the Super Eagles.

Both teams agreed to the friendly as part of preparation for the AFCON 2017 qualifiers starting in June.

Although the Super Eagles team was largely made up of new invitees, the loss would have further dampened the spirit of soccer loving Nigerians as the loss puts Uganda ahead of Nigeria in a head-to-head.

The Ugandans were ranked 71 in the world.

The Eagles leave for Nel­spruit, South Africa on Thursday where they will face the Bafana Bafana in another friendly match on Sunday.