Akwa United Can Win The League Title, Says Obuh

 

Newly unveiled head coach of Akwa United John Obuh says winning the Nigeria Professional League Title with Akwa United is a realistic goal.

In an interview on Channels TV’s Sports Tonight, Coach Obuh confirmed that with the philosophy and administration of the club, winning the league title this season is possible.

He said, ”It is very realistic. If a team has won the Aiteo Cup twice, finished top in their group in the abridged league, competed at the Super 6 and were only unfortunate not win, their major goal will always be to win the league title.

“They have always been a good contender for the title, so they can’t be ruled out of it this season. It is not a tall order, I believe we can do it. It is a project for everyone at the club, the old and new players, the coaches. Everyone is working so hard, we think we can do it.”

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The former Flying Eagles Coach who recently signed a 1-year contract with Akwa United, has former Eagles player, Duke Udi as assistant coach. He revealed it wasn’t a difficult decision to make.

“That has been my ambition for sometime. I started nursing the ambition of coaching Akwa United ten years ago. It was always rumoured that I will join the club even when I was engaged somewhere else. So when the opportunity came, I didn’t hesitate to take it because it is an organised club.”

Asides his personal ambition, coach Obuh had other reasons that made him join Akwa United.

“The time they were asking for CVs of coaches, I submitted mine and was called for an interview in Uyo. The interview was nice, the questions were technical and intelligent. I considered the fact that they have a good playing pitch, they have a good administrator and have been in the league for sometime now. The governor is also willing to sponsor the team, the only charge is that the team should impress and the sponsorship will always be good. That’s what every coach wants. That’s why it was easy for me to join Akwa United.”

Akwa United have registered a total of 35 players for the 2019/2020 NPFL season, 15 of them are new to the club but coach Obuh says it won’t be a problem to their league ambition.

Obuh explained that massive recruitment was done because the club players are always moving and they must be replaced.

He said the recruited players have quality and experience, making it easy for them to blend with the older players at the club.

Akwa United will open their 2019/2020 campaign with an away fixture against Warri Wolves on Sunday, 3rd November.

U-20 World Cup: Flying Eagles Qualify For Round Of 16 After Ukraine Draw

 

Nigeria’s Flying Eagles have qualified for the round of 16 in the ongoing FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland, following a 1-1 draw with Ukraine.

With the result, Nigeria finished third in Group D with four points from three games.

The Paul Aigbogun boys advanced to the round of 16 as one of the four best third-placed sides, or best losers as it is referred to in Nigerian parlance.

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In the other group match, USA defeated Qatar 1-0 and finished second in the group with six points, a point behind group leaders Ukraine.

Earlier, Flying Eagles failed to build on their big win over Qatar as they were thrashed 2-0 by the USA in their second group game

Nigeria Lose To USA 2-0 In FIFA U-20 Tourney

PHOTO: The NFF

 

Nigeria’s Flying Eagles failed to repeat the win in their opening game against Qatar, by losing 2-0 to the USA at the second group stage game in the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland.

Forward Sebastian Soto struck twice at both half’s for the USA, securing their first victory.

The USA proved a hard nut to crack throughout the encounter for the flying Eagles with several saves; substitute Aniekeme Okon’s ferocious full volley at the top of the area was saved by Brady Scott.

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That was followed by forward Maxell Effiom’s stinger from outside the right corner of the box which clipped the crossbar a minute later.

In the end the USA came out victorious, recording their first victory in the tournament, after losing 2-1 to Ukraine in their Group D opener.

Nigeria who won their opener against Qatar emphatically, will take on Ukraine in their final group game on Thursday, while the USA will play Qatar for a decider on who advances to the knockout stages.

FIFA U20 World Cup: Nigeria Beats Qatar 4-0

 

Nigeria delivered a bold statement of intent with a 4-0 thumping of Qatar in their Group D curtain-raiser at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019.

The Flying Eagles, runners-up to a Joao Pinto-propelled Portugal in 1989 and a Lionel Messi-inspired Argentina in 2005, soared 2-0 up inside 25 minutes – and both goals were indebted to their left-back.

Ikouwem Utin duped his marker and unleashed a swerving shot, which Shehab Mamdouh could only push into the path of Maxwell Effiom, whose first-time volley broke the deadlock.

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The Nigeria No3 then went on to spring four challenges down the left and cut the ball back to present Okechukwa Offia with a comfortable finish from close range.

Qatar did have their chances. Zulkifilu Rabiu catapulted himself across the Tychy turf to make an outstanding block from Yusuf Abdurisag, and Nigeria goalkeeper Olawale Oremade was alert to break up a three-on-one break from which the underdogs should have made more.

They were further punished, esteemed Manchester City midfielder Tom Dele-Bashiru making it 3-0 before Aliu Salawudeen’s swivel and shot completed the rout.

The teams return to action on Monday, when Qatar face Ukraine and Nigeria encounter USA.

Flying Eagles Arrive In Germany For U20 World Cup Training

Flying Eagles Arrive In Germany For U20 World Cup Training
Flying Eagles arrive at the Hotel Monarch in Ingolstadt, Germany on April 29, 2019, ahead of the FIFA U20 World Cup finals in Poland.

 

Nigeria’s Flying Eagles have arrived in Germany as part of preparations for the FIFA U20 World Cup finals in Poland.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) disclosed this on Sunday via its Twitter handle.

NFF also shared pictures of the players shortly after they arrived at the Hotel Monarch in Ingolstadt, Germany.

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The Flying Eagles, led by Coach Paul Aigbogun, are in Germany for a final training camp ahead of the global tournament which will hold between May 23 and June 15.

 

During their three-week stay in the country, they are expected to perfect tactical and technical strategies before flying into Poland for the championship.

According to the team administrator, Aliyu Lawal, 23 players flew out of Abuja while eight others based overseas will join the team in Germany.

Those who travelled from Nigeria are Detan Ogundare, Olawale Oremade, Matthew Yakubu, Mike Zaruma, Rabiu Mohammad, Quadri Liameed, Adewale Oladoye, Peter Eletu, Ernest Chidiebere, Solomon Onome, and Ikouwem Utin.

Others are Victor Arikpo, Effiom Maxwell, Abubakar Ibrahim, Adeshina Gata, Aniekeme Okon, Sor Collins, Ahmad Ghali, Aliu Salawudeen, Tijani Muhammad, Pascal Durugbor, Saeed Jibril, and Valentine Ozornwafor.

Those based overseas are Samuel Chukwueze, Kingsley Michael, Ash Kigbu, Tom Dele-Bashiru, Chinedu Ekene, Henry Offia, Abubakar Jibril, and Hamdi Akujobi.

FIFA U-20 World Cup: Flying Eagles Draw USA, Qatar, Ukraine In Group D

Fying Eagles players pose.                                                             Credit: NFF

 

Nigeria’s Flying Eagles have been drawn in group d for the 2019 FIFA Under 20 World Cup in Poland.

The Flying Eagles who qualified as the 4th best team in Africa will face Qatar, Ukraine and the United States of America in the group phase.

Under 20 world cup winners, Bebeto and Fernando Couto made the draw in front of numerous coaches and icons of Polish football.

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Nigeria’s Opening match is against Qatar on Friday, May 24th, followed by the US on Monday, May 27 and Ukraine on Thursday, May 30.

The 2019 Under-20 World Cup will kick-off on May 23 and end on June 15.

Both the opening game and the final will be played in Lodz, while Bielsko-Biala, Bydgoszcz, Gdynia, Lublin and Tychy will all host at least two matches with a seeded team.

 

Flying Eagles To Know World Cup Opponents On Sunday

 

Nigeria’s U-20 team, the Flying Eagles will know their group phase opponents at this summer’s FIFA U20 World Cup finals in Poland after the draw ceremony to be held inside the Gdynia Sports Arena on Sunday.

The seven–time African champions have been slotted into Pot 2 of the draw, alongside African champions Mali, as well as New Zealand, Colombia, Korea Republic and Italy.

There will be six groups of four teams each at the 24 –nation championship, with the top two teams at the end of the group phase, as well as the best four third –placed teams, advancing to the Round of 16.

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Hosts Poland, Portugal, Uruguay, France, USA and Mexico are in Pot 1, with Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Argentina, Ecuador, Ukraine and Honduras in Pot 3. Pot 4 has Japan, South Africa, Panama, Norway, Qatar and Tahiti.

Paul Aigbogun’s wards finished outside the medals’ zone at the Africa U20 Cup of Nations that ended in Niger Republic on Sunday, following consecutive penalty shoot –out defeats (to Mali and then South Africa) but picked the last spot available for Africa.

Poland, which co-hosted the 2012 European Championship with Ukraine, will host this year’s FIFA U20 World Cup finals in the cities of Lublin, Bielsko Biala, Tychy, Bydgoszcz, Gdynia and Lodz, 23rdMay – 15th June.

U20 AFCON: Flying Eagles Defeat Niger 1-0, Book World Cup Ticket

File Photo: Flying Eagles

 

The Flying Eagles have qualified for the World Cup championship in Poland after beating Niger Republic in the ongoing African Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Kano Pillars midfielder Alhassan Adamu’s free-kick from an acute angle in the 73rd minute proved to be the match winner for the Nigeria U20s.

The breathtaking goal by Adamu Alhassan turned out to be the only goal of the match and the much-needed strike to properly catapult the Flying Eagles to the world cup in Poland.

The victory also ensures a semi-final place for the Flying Eagles as Aigbogun attempts to increase the winning tally for the country.

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Prior to the goal, the Eagles laboured before they could get this win as the host nation were also determined to get a good result that could help them progress.

Nigeria has won the competition a record seven times and emerging victorious in the finals in Niamey will increase the tally to eight.

With the World cup ticket safely in the kitty, Coach Paul Aigbogun and his technical crew are condemned to either go for the highest achievement Nigeria has reached in the competition at the world stage, the quarterfinals at the 1999 and 2017 editions respectively or make history for the themselves by getting to the semi-finals and even beyond.

Nigeria Rout Mauritania 5-0 To Qualify For 2019 U-20 AFCON

Nigeria Rout Mauritania 5-0 To Qualify For 2019 U-20 AFCON

 

Nigeria’s Flying Eagles have thrashed Mauritania to qualify for the 2019 U-20 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) hosted by the Republic of Niger.

The Eagles turned in a commanding performance on Saturday as they demolished the visiting side 5-0 at the Agege stadium in Lagos State.

It was a one-sided contest as the Nigerian team dominated from start to finish.

Enyimba Winger Wasiu Alalade put set the Eagles on the lead after 11 minutes while Nazifi Yahaya doubled the advantage 22 minutes later.

Yahaha consequently extended the lead a minute after the restart when he headed home off a corner.

Aniekeme Asuquo scored Nigeria’s fourth goal before the Afeez Aremu sealed the victory in the 87th minute from the penalty spot.

The seven-time champions advanced 6-1 on aggregate.

NANPF, LMC To Tackle Players Welfare Issue

NANPF, LMC To Tackle Players Welfare IssueThe National Association of Nigerian Professional Footballers (NANPF) has vowed to keep up pressure on clubs to pay their players their wages and salaries.

The renewed commitment came after the association reached an agreement with the League Management Company to work together in ensuring backlogs are settled.

The 2016/2017 Premier League season begins on Saturday with many clubs yet to pay their players and coaches their salaries and bonuses from previous seasons.

NANPF General Secretary, Austin Popo, who expressed his disappointment with the refusal of the majority of the clubs to pay their players, said the body had decided to work with the LMC.

It was learnt that the players’ union and other groups had allegedly pressured the LMC to suspend the league until the players were paid their entitlements.

It was also learnt that the groups decided to make a U-turn after allegedly coming under pressure from some of the clubs and the LMC.

However, Popo said the players’ body would put defaulting clubs under pressure through the LMC for the players to be paid their entitlements.

The former Flying Eagles forward said that Warri Wolves, Taraba United and Heartland were among the clubs still owing their players.

According to Popo, “The painful thing about the debts owed these players by the clubs is that the managers and owners of these clubs are frustrating our efforts at retrieving the debts, hence we have decided to work directly with the LMC, who have assured us that the debts would be paid before the new season begins, to avoid a repeat of the past situations.

“These club owners have some recovered monies paid to them but they have refused to pay their players.

“Many club owners have these monies but divert them and conveniently owe these players knowing full well that the players would not want to go on strike when we call on them to do so.

“The players only speak out after leaving the clubs owing them for another one, hence they don’t help the cause.”

He added: “In the new season, players’ welfare is going to be our major focus as we have always done.

“We have met with the LMC and the list of players who are owed by their clubs and their account numbers have been forwarded to them (LMC). The LMC will pay them from the entitlements due to the indebted clubs.

“Some clubs have been responding. For instance, Bayelsa United and Gombe United have paid their players as of last week.

“Although the LMC have been doing a lot since they came on board, we have met with them and let them understand that the wages issue could cause disruptions in the league if not properly handled.”

Flying Eagles Edge Closer To Zambia 2017

flying eaglesNigeria’s U-20 team, the Flying Eagles are optimistic that a place at the Africa U-20 Cup of Nations, Zambia 2017 is within grasp as they confront visiting Young Falcons of Sudan at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos on Saturday.

The Emmanuel Amuneke-tutored side won the first leg in Khartoum 2-1 two weeks ago and are tipped as favourites to reach the finals coming up in Zambia next year.

Samuel Chukwueze and Victor Osimhen scored as the Flying Eagles came from behind to defeat their hosts in Khartoum, and both players are in top shape for Saturday’s clash.

Osimhen, was a record scorer at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in 2015, hitting 10 goals in Chile as Nigeria roared to a fifth triumph. Chukwueze’s goals also counted and he scooped the bronze boot as the third highest scorer of the tournament.

The Young Falcons have a mountain to climb against a squad that is not used to tasting defeat.

Amuneke has come to this level with the bulk of the boys who did Nigeria proud in Chile, and have maintained an unbeaten streak ever since.

Joshua Enaholo Joins Enyimba

enaholoFlying Eagles Goalkeeper, Joshua Enaholo, has joined Nigeria Professional Football League side, Eyimba FC, from lower division side, MFM.

Enaholo, who was in goal for Nigeria during the 2015 African Youth Championship and the FIFA Under-20 World Cup, has been cleared by his club to make the move to the Aba Elephants.

Enaholo was also in goal for the Flying Eagles when the team defeated Enyimba 2-0 during the Super Six invitational in Abuja.

Enaholo’s arrival has increased the number of goalkeepers at Enyimba and will equally boost competition in goal as club coach, Kadiri Ikhana, seeks an unprecedented seventh title.