Emenike Excited Scoring For West Ham

EmenikeNigerian international, Emmanuel Emenike, is delighted to get his first goals for West Ham United in the English FA Cup clash with Blackburn Rovers.

However, Emenike regretted not getting a hat-trick in the 5-1 thrashing of the Rovers at Ewood Park.

He netted a goal for West Ham in the 64th minute and added his second 20 minutes later.

The Nigerian striker said that he could easily have scored more goals in a sumptuous performance by the Hammers.

West Ham United captain, Mark Noble, had nothing but praise for the way Emenike settled into his new surroundings and took his chances straight away.

West Ham Sign Emmanuel Emenike On Loan

emenike_clubNigerian international, Emmanuel Emenike, has expressed delight to join English Premier League side, West Ham United on loan.

The 28-year-old is confident he will have an instant impact for Slaven Bilic’s squad, having known the manager from his spells coaching in Russia and Turkey.

Emenike, was capped 37 times by Nigeria and spent part of this season on loan at the Arabian Gulf League side, al-Ain in the United Arab Emirates.

The Hammers have the option to make the transfer permanent in the summer and the forward would provide options for Bilic with Andy Carroll side-lined again by injury.

Keshi Invites Five New Players, 19 Others For Sudan

Stephen KeshiSuper Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi, has invited five new players and 19 others for next October’s 2015 Africa Cup of Nations two legged qualifying game against Sudan.

The players include former junior international, Raheem Lawal, China–based striker, Aaron Samuel, Reading of England’s Hope Akpan, Austria–based forward, Sunday Emmanuel and a relatively unknown Anyora Ugonna, who plays in Norway.

Goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, who missed the games against Congo and South Africa due to family issues, is also back in the team and Babatunde Michael, who impressed at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil also made the list.

African Champions, Nigeria is under pressure and must win both matches against Sudan next month to have any realistic chance of qualifying for the Cup of Nations scheduled for Morocco next year.

Both teams will clash in Khartoum on Saturday, October 11 and play the second leg four days later at the National Stadium, Abuja.

THE FULL LIST:

Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama (Lille OSC, France); Austin Ejide (Hapoel Be’erSheva, Israel); Chigozie Agbim (Gombe United)

Defenders: Elderson Echiejile (Monaco FC, France); Juwon Oshaniwa (Ashdod FC, Israel); Efe Ambrose (Celtic FC, Scotland); Godfrey Oboabona (Rizespor FC, Turkey); Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves, Nigeria); Kenneth Omeruo (Middlesbrough, England)

Midfielders: John Mikel Obi (Chelsea FC, England); Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio, Italy); Nosa Igiebor (Maccabi FC, Israel); Omatsone Aluko (Hull City, England); Hope Akpan (Reading FC, England); Raheem Lawal (Eskisehirspor FC, Turkey); Anyora Ugonna (Haugesund FC, Norway)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Emmanuel Emenike (Fenerbahce FC, Turkey); Gbolahan Salami (Warri Wolves, Nigeria); Osaguona Ighodaro (Enugu Rangers, Nigeria); Victor Moses (Stoke City, England); Aaron Samuel (Guangzhou R & F, China); Aaron Samuel (SV ScholzGrodig, Austria); Babatunde Michael (Volyn Lutsk, Ukraine)

Nigeria Invites 23 Players For AFCON Qualifiers

AFCON QualifiersAfrican Champions, Nigeria, have called up 23 players for the 2015 Nations Cup qualifying matches against the Red Devils of Congo and South Africa’s Bafana Bafana.

The list released by the Nigeria Football Federation features goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama; defenders, Kenneth Omeruo and Efe Ambrose; midfielders, Ogenyi Onazi and John Mikel Obi, and forwards, Ahmed Musa and Emmanuel Emenike.

Monaco of France defender, Elderson Echiejile, who missed the 2014 FIFA World Cup due to injury, Nosa Igiebor and Schalke 04’s Chinedu Obasi are all back for the qualifiers.

Home–based quartet, Chigozie Agbim, Azubuike Egwuekwe, Kunle Odunlami and Gbolahan Salami, who were part of Nigeria’s third place finish at the African Nations Championship in South Africa earlier in the year, would be making a return to Capetown.

Enugu Rangers’ topman, Christian Osaguona also add to the number of players from the domestic league.

Nigeria starts its AFCON qualifiers with Congo in Calabar on September 6, and later leave for Cape Town to take on the Bafana Bafana on September 10.

THE FULL LIST

Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama (Lille OSC, France); Austin Ejide (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel); Chigozie Agbim (Gombe United, Nigeria)

Defenders: Elderson Echiejile (Monaco FC, France); Juwon Oshaniwa (Ashdod FC, Israel); Efe Ambrose (Celtic FC, Scotland); Godfrey Oboabona (Rizespor FC, Turkey); Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves, Nigeria); Kenneth Omeruo (Middlesbrough FC, England); Kunle Odunlami (Sunshine Stars, Nigeria)

Midfielders: John Mikel Obi (Chelsea FC, England); Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio, Italy); Ramon Azeez (Almeria FC, Spain); Joel Obi (Inter Milan, Italy); Nosa Igiebor (Real Betis, Spain); Omatsone Aluko (Hull City, England)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Emmanuel Emenike (Fenerbahce FC, Turkey); Chinedu Obasi Ogbuke (Schalke 04, Germany); Uche Nwofor (Heerenveen FC, Netherlands); Nnamdi Oduamadi (AS Varese 1910, Italy); Gbolahan Salami (Warri Wolves); Christian Osaguona (Enugu Rangers)   

Nigeria Out Of World Cup As Team Loses To France

eagles_superNigeria are out of the World Cup championship holding in Brazil after a 2-0 defeat by France.

With the victory over Nigeria France have progressed to the quarter final and will meet the winner of the match between Algeria and Germany.

The first half of the game ended goalless after a goal by Emmanuel Emenike in the 19th minute was disallowed for offside.

Emenike, had started celebrating his goal, thinking he had put Nigeria ahead, only to fall foul of a controversial offside call.

Nigeria goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama, who plies his trade with Lille in the French top flight, made several saves, denying Karim Benzema and Paul Pogba opportunities to score, but made a blonder at the 79th-minute of the match that had seen the Nigerian team put up an impressive performance.

Paul Pogba got the opener for France after he headed home the ball pushed to him by Enyeama, who came out to defend a corner kick. The victory was sealed when Joseph Yobo deflected the ball into his own net during the added time.

France came close to leading at the 70th minute after Benzema exchanged passes with Giroud’s replacement Antoine Griezmann to beat the Nigeria defence line, but the Real Madrid forward’s effort was partially stopped by Enyeama and Moses was back to hack clear as the ball looped towards the net.

Pressure increased on the Nigerian side after a midfielder, Onazi was injured by Blaise Matuidi, who picked up a yellow card for the rough tackle.

Onazi had to go off on a stretcher, forcing coach Stephen Keshi to make a change.

The defeat ended Nigeria’s hope of progressing to the quarter final in the country’s fifth appearance in the world cup.

Del Bosque Must Take The Blame For Spain’s Exit – Obanya

Del bosqueSports Journalist, Nnamdi Obanya, admits that the exit of world champions, Spain in the first round of the World Cup had become a trend but not an excuse for a talented team.

Speaking on Channels Television, Obanya said that the older generation of the Spanish team had been pushed to remain in the squad for too long when their bodies could no longer cope at the highest level.

He explained that Chile’s first goal sums up the sad story of Spain, with 3 defenders escorting 2 Chilean attackers all the way to their own goal territory and eventually allowing the goal.

On the view that the “tiki-taka” style of play having been found out by other teams could be the reason for Spain’s failure, Obanya said that the style had always been what the team was built around.

He noted that as much as the likes of Ramos and Torres – who aren’t Barcelona players – may want to ditch the tiki-taka style of play, the engine room of the team has been tiki-taka and they do not have a choice.

He blamed the Spanish Coach, Vicente Del Bosque for failing to inject younger players into his team for the tournament, as this has been the major reason they have failed.

He noted, however, that nothing should be taken away from the Chilean players as they had a lot of quality in their team. They, according to him, out-muscled Spain on every part of the pitch and ended up putting Iniesta under the pressure of trying to do too much.

Obanya also expressed satisfaction at the way Australia played against Holland. He noted that their attacking style against a good Dutch team was good for the tournament. He also had good words for the goal scored by Tim Cahill, refereeing to it as one of the best. “They should hold their heads high”, he said.

Obanya, however, had tough words for the Nigerian Super Eagles.

“Unlike Iran, Bosnia is more ruthless”, he said, wondering if Nigeria could handle the fire power of the Bosnians.

He, however, said that Nigeria has the habit of playing to the strength of their opponents, a statement which meant they could up their game against Bosnia.

He suggested that the best way for Nigeria to stop Bosnia was to get a physical midfielder to break up the Bosnian attack and also one who could play behind the striker, Emmanuel Emenike, to knock down services for him.

Obanya also wants to see Osaze Odemwingie starting the next match with Ramon Azeez benched as he lacked the physicality needed against the tall and bullish Bosnians.

On allegations that Osaze did not play to instructions given by Coach Stephen Keshi in the first game, Obanya asked “What instruction?”

 

Yaya Beats Mikel To Win 2013 African Player Of The Year As Nigeria Sweeps CAF Awards

Ivorian Midfielder, Yaya Toure, has beaten Nigerian Super Eagles and Chelsea FC midfielder, John Mikel Obi to win for the 3rd consecutive year, the coveted ‘African Footballer of the Year’ Award, at the Glo CAF Awards 2013 held in Lagos.

Mikel Obi was highly favoured by many Nigerians who saw his exploits and team successes with club and country in 2013 as the best credentials to claim the award which has eluded Nigerian footballers since Kanu Nwankwo won it in the year 1999.

While Nigeria confirmed its status as the number 1 footballing country on the African continent during the year 2013 by winning in five categories, the loss of the ultimate crown would cast a gloom on the other successes.

The Nigerian Super Eagles won the award for the ‘National Team of the Year’, while the national Under-17 team, Golden Eaglets, also won ‘Youth National Team of the Year’ at the Glo CAF Awards 2013.

Both teams had been expected by many pundits to claim the awards, having won major tournaments at continental and global levels during the year in review.

The Super Eagles won the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2013 for the first time in 19 years, while the Golden Eaglets won the 2013 FIFA Under-17 World Cup tournament in United Arab Emirates.

Golden Eaglets’ wonder kid, Kelechi Iheanacho, unsurprisingly won the ‘Most Promising Talent’ Award. Ihenacho was the most decorated at the 2013 FIFA Under-17 World Cup, winning the tournament’s Adidas Golden Ball Award for the overall best player, alongside the Silver Boot Award for being the second highest goal scorer, as he helped Nigeria to its 4th title to become the most successful team in the history of the age grade competition.

The Nigerian Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi, was also named ‘African Coach of the Year’ for his exploits with the African Champions. Keshi became the first Nigerian to win the Nations’ Cup as player and coach, and only the second African coach to do so after Egypt’s Mahmoud El-Gohary.

Fair Play Award went to the Nigerian Supporters Club, globally popular for their constant playing of music and dancing while supporting the Nigerian national teams.

Other winners at the awards were Egyptian, Mohammed Aboutreika, who beat Nigeria’s African Nations’ Cup final hero, Sunday Mba, to win the ‘African Player of the Year based in Africa’, while the ‘Club of the Year’ went to Al Ahly FC of Egypt.

The ‘Referee of the Year’ award went to Algerian, Haimoudi Djamel, who officiated the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations Final between Nigeria and Burkina Faso, and also officiated the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup play-off for third place between Uruguay and Italy.

The African Team of the Year is made up of Vincent Enyeama (NIG), Ahmed Fathy (EGY), Mehdi (MOR), Kevin Constant (GUI), Mikel Obi (NIG), Mohammed Aboutreika (EGY), Yaya Toure (CIV), Jonathan Pitroipa (BFA), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (GAB), Emmanuel Emenike (NIG), Asamoah Gyan (GHA) Coach Stephen Keshi (NIG)

Five Nigerian players from the successful AFCON 2013 Eagles were nominated for the now lost ‘African Player of the Year’ Award; they include Emmanuel Emenike, Ahmed Musa, Mikel Obi, Sunday Mba and Vincent Enyeama.

Only Mikel Obi made the final 3 man nominees list alongside the 3rd time winner, Ivorian, Yaya Toure and his Ivorian counterpart, Didier Drogba.

Winners were announced in Lagos on January 9, 2014.

5 Nigerians Nominated For African Player Of The Year Award

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has released the nominees for the yearly awards.

25 players made the cut for the flagship African Player of the Year category, and 21 for the African Player of the Year based in Africa.

Five Nigerian players were nominated for the player of the year award; they include Emmanuel Emenike, Ahmed Musa, Mikel Obi, Sunday Mba and Vincent Enyeama.

The winners will be announced at the GLO-CAF Awards gala scheduled for Thursday, January 9, 2014 in Lagos.

Ivorian, Yaya Toure is the reigning African Player of the Year and Mohamed Aboutrika of Egypt is the African Player of the Year (Based in Africa).

 

Keshi Invites 25 Players For Ethiopia And Italy Game

Head Coach of Nigeria’s Super Eagles, Stephen Keshi, has called up 25 players ahead of the final lap of the 2014 World Cup qualifying match against Ethiopia and the international friendly against Italy in November.

The Nigerian National Team will take on the Walya Antelopes of Ethiopia, at the U. J. Esuene stadium, Calabar, Cross-River State in Nigeria on November 16 with a 2-1 advantage having won the first leg in Addis-Ababa courtesy of a brace from in-form striker, Emmanuel Emenike.

Two days later, the African Champions will take on 4-time world champions, Italy at the Craven Cottage ground of English Premiership club, Fulham FC in a high-profile friendly in London.

Coach Keshi has recalled brilliant young defender Kenneth Omeruo, a key component of his 2013 Africa Cup Of Nations winning squad and the rugged and attack-minded midfielder Reuben Gabriel as both men have been out of the squad for months owing to injuries.

Nigeria squad:
Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama (Lille FC, France); Austin Ejide (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel); Chigozie Agbim (Enugu Rangers)
Defenders: Elderson Echiejile (Sporting Braga, Portugal); Francis Benjamin (Heartland); Efe Ambrose (Celtic, Scotland); Solomon Kwambe (Sunshine Stars); Godfrey Oboabona (Rizespor, Turkey); Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves); James Okwuosa (Chippa United, South Africa), Kenneth Omeruo (Chelsea, England)
Midfielders: John Mikel Obi (Chelsea, England); John Ogu (Academica de Coimbra, Portugal); Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio, Italy); Nosa Igiebor (Real Betis, Spain); Victor Moses (Liverpool, England); Sunday Mba (Enugu Rangers); Nnamdi Oduamadi (Brescia, Italy), Reuben Gabriel (Kilmarnock, Scotland)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Brown Ideye (Dynamo Kyiv, Ukraine); Shola Ameobi (Newcastle United, England); Emmanuel Emenike (Fenerbahce, Turkey); Obinna Nsofor (Lokomotiv Moscow, Russia); Uche Nwofor (SC Heerenveen, Netherlands).

Keshi Gets Support From NFF Over Players Call-up

Nigeria’s football management body, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has backed former Super Eagles captain and now Super Eagles head coach, Stephen Keshi over team selection despite the loud protest by the team captain Joseph Yobo.

Yobo was very livid to learn that he was left out of the selection that will be facing the Harambee Stars of Kenya for the World cup qualification clash in Calabar last month.

Several other big players of the Super Eagles criticized Keshi’s act but Yobo who was definitely embittered was of the loudest as he openly criticized Keshi for leaving him out of the team after their victorious return from South Africa as the Super Eagles were crowned the African champions.

One official of the NFF said Stephen Keshi will always get the support of the federation as they have already resolved earlier to give him their support and allow him a free hand.

“We appointed Keshi for the Super Eagles job and we have resolved to give him a free hand to pick the players he deems fit to prosecute matches and thus far his selections have produced results,”.

According to an executive member of the NFF; Chris Green, there are several issues which is in the top drawer of the federation which has be addressed and be addressed in good time too, because it is in the interest of the federation to promote peace in the team for without peace the sole purpose of having a coach to steer the team is defeated.

Green made mention of the Yobo vs Keshi, Osaze and Keshi, Emmanuel Emenike, Danny Shittu issues as part of the issues to be addressed in meeting in Abuja.

“We are going to look at the issues objectively. A coach is a coach and is in charge of the team and can decide the players who could best play a game for him.”

“However, when players begin to complain and senior players for that matter, there is need for us to mediate because the team can only achieve more when they are united.

“Our concern is not to fan the ego of anyone, but for peace to reign in the Eagles. We appointed Keshi for this job and we believe in his ability, therefore we must do everything to make sure his job is easy and void of whatever distraction,”

It would be recalled that Joseph Yobo didn’t feature in most of the matches that Nigeria played during the Afcon 2013 in South Africa due to injury.

However, the captain who returned to his club and started playing immediately stated that he is not down with injury as he has been active for his Turkish club since the Nations cup, knocking off the issue of injury being responsible for being excluded from the Super Eagles call-up.

AFCON 2013 Final: Keshi Leaves Emenike And Moses Out Of Training

Super Eagles chief coach Stephen Keshi has left out the striking pair of Emmanuel Emenike and Victor Moses from the team’s training session ahead of Sunday’s final against Burkina Faso.

Keshi has decided to take precaution on the two key players after they suffered knocks in their 4-1 semi-final win over Mali on Wednesday.

Reports has it that the team doctor, Ibrahim Gyaran, advised the technical crew to excuse the duo from today’s training to allow them undergo tests.

Emenike is expected to resume training with the rest of the squad by Friday while Moses will have to wait for a scan to know the extent of his injury.

The Super Eagles are expected to meet the Stallions of Burkina Faso in the final match of the 2013 African Cup of Nations on Sunday at Soccer City in South Africa.

Meanwhile, the coach has called for caution from Nigerian fans, saying his team is still far from greatness, though the potential is there for all to see after the team reached their first Africa Cup of Nations final in 13 years on Wednesday.

Keshi was also pleased that his plan to leave out several senior players from the current side had gone well.

The former Togo and Mali handler was a player the last time Nigeria won the trophy back in 1994, captaining a team that included future stars like Daniel Amokachi, Jay-Jay Okocha, Sunday Oliseh, and Finidi George.

He is bidding to become the second man to win the continental showpiece as a player and coach after Egyptian Mahmoud el-Gohary.

Super Eagles Zoom To AFCON 2013 Final

The Super Eagles of Nigeria on Wednesday evening thrashed the Eagles of Mali 4-1 to reach the final of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations for their first time in 13 years.

The Super Eagles continued their impressive run in the tournament in South Africa by scoring three of the goals in the first half of the match.

Defender Elderson Echiejile opened the scoring, heading home Victor Moses’ cross, before Brown Ideye bundled past Mali keeper Mamadou Samassa.

The Super Eagles made it three with Emmanuel Emenike’s shot deflecting in off Mali midfielder Momo Sissoko.

Substitute Ahmed Musa stroked home Nigeria’s fourth, before Cheick Diarra grabbed a consolation for the Eagles.

The Eagles are expected to meet the winner of the second semi-final match between Burkina Faso and Ghana.