Balogun Hopes For Quick Return To Action

Super Eagles and Mainz Defender, Leon Balogun, is hopeful of a quick return to action after undergoing surgery on a broken cheek-bone.

Balogun was substituted with the facial injury on Friday during a Bundesliga clash against Schalke.

Although there is no time-scale on how long he will be out for, the 29-year-old stopper is optimistic of a fast return to the pitch.

Balogun has featured in four games in the German top-flight this season.

Nigeria Trash Algeria 3-1 In World Cup Qualifier

World Cup Qualifier: Nigeria Trash Algeria 3-1 in UyoThe Super Eagles of Nigeria have beaten the Desert Warriors of Algeria 3-1 in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier.

Chelsea forward Victor Moses scored Nigeria’s first goal in the 26th minute after a mix up in the Algerian defence.

Captain Mikel Obi added a second on 42 minutes after beating the offside trap set by the Algerian defence.

Nabil Bentaleb pulled one back for Algeria in the second half but Victor Moses’s 2nd goal of match wrapped up all three points for the Super Eagles.

Nigeria now have six points from the two matches played and have created a 4-point lead after Cameroon and Zambia played a 1-1 draw in the group’s other game.

Cameroon are second with two points while Zambia and Algeria who have both lost to Nigeria have one point each.

Georges Leekens’ men are now in danger of missing out on the 2018 World Cup in spite of having some of the continent’s most in-form players and being ranked third in the continent behind the Ivory Coast and Senegal.

Before the match, Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, promised Super Eagles players $10,000 for every unreplied goal they score against Algeria, in the World Cup qualifier.

Governor Udom made this promise, when he visited the team at their Le Meridien Hotel camp, accompanied by his predecessor, Godswill Akpabio.

The Governor had donated 10million naira to the three-time African champions, after they defeated Tanzania 1-0 in September.

Governor Udom Promises Super Eagles $10,000 Per Goal

Governor Udom Promises Super Eagles $10,000 Per GoalAkwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, has promised Super Eagles players $10,000 for every unreplied goal they score against Algeria, in Saturday’s 2018 World Cup qualifier.

Governor Udom made this promise, when he visited the team at their Le Meridien Hotel camp, accompanied by his predecessor, Godswill Akpabio.

The Governor had donated 10million naira to the three-time African champions, after they defeated Tanzania 1-0 in September.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria will host Algeria in this weekend’s biggest African qualifying matches for the 2018 World Cup.

Algeria, ranked third in the continent behind the Ivory Coast and Senegal, face a resurgent Group B pacesetters Nigeria at the ‘Nest of champions’ in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

While Algeria could not hold an early lead in a surprise 1-1 home draw with Cameroon in October, Nigeria made a perfect start by winning 2-1 in Zambia.

The Uyo showdown marks the debut of Belgian coach, Georges Leekens, the third handler of Algeria this year after Frenchman Christian Gourcoff and Serb Milovan Rajevac.

Starting Line-up

Coach Gernot Rohr has released his team list for the crucial 2018 World Cup qualifier.

Daniel Akpeyi starts in goal while Kenneth Omeruo, William Troost-Ekong, Leon Balogun and Elderson Eciejile will file out in defence.

Captain Mikel Obi and Ogenyi Onazi will marshal the midfield while Victor Moses, Oghenekaro Etebo, Kelechi Iheanacho and Alex Iwobi are the forwards.

The game kicks off 5pm Nigerian time.

Super Eagles Squad For Zambia Clash Released

Gernot Rohr,Super Eagles On FIFA RankingSuper eagles coach, Gernot Rohr, has released final squad for next month’s 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying clash against Zambia’s Chipolopolo in Ndola.

The goalkeepers are Carl Ikeme, Emmanuel Daniel and Ikechukwu Ezenwa.

The defenders are Leon Balogun, William Troost-Ekong, Kenneth Omeruo, Jamiu Alimi, Abdullahi Shehu.

Others are Musa Muhammed, Elderson Echiejile and Kingsley Madu.

Chelsea star, Mikel Obi leads a midfield that include Ogenyi Onazi, Wilfred Ndidi, Nosa Igiebor, and Anderson Esiti.

Ahmed Musa, Kelechi Iheanacho, Moses Simon, Victor Moses, Saac Success, Brown Ideye and Alex Iwobi will lead the attack.

Invited players are expected to start arriving in Abuja as from October 2, 2016.

Coach Rohr Resumes Role As 20 Eagles Train In Uyo

Gernot-RohrFranco-German Gernot Rohr has resumed as the coach of Nigeria’s senior football team, Super Eagles, as the team begin training sessions ahead of Saturday’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Tanzania.

Rohr and a number of players landed in Uyo on Tuesday, a day after their flight was cancelled by ARIK airline.

On arrival at the team’s Le Meridien Hotel, Coach Rohr had a meeting with his assistants, backroom staff and players present, before the evening’s training session at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium.

The players in camp as at Tuesday evening were Skipper Mikel Obi, assistant captain Ahmed Musa, goalkeepers Emmanuel Daniel and Ikechukwu Ezenw; defenders Musa Muhammed, Chidozie Awaziem, Abdullahi Shehu, Jamiu Alimi, Leon Balogun, William Troost-Ekong and Elderson Echiejile; midfielders Ogenyi Onazi, Wilfred Ndidi and Nosa Igiebor and forwards Brown Ideye, Imoh Ezekiel, Kelechi Iheanacho, Victor Moses, Odion Ighalo and Victor Osimhen.

The team’s administrator, Dayo Achor, confirmed to thenff.com that Belgium-based Moses Simon and Slovakia-based Kingsley Madu would arrive on Wednesday.

The delegation of Tanzania’s Taifa Stars is expected to arrive in Nigeria on Wednesday, while the match officials will jet in on Thursday.

Super Eagles To Open Camp Ahead Of Tanzania Clash On Monday

Super eaglesNigeria’s national team, Super Eagles will open camp in Uyo on Monday, for Saturday’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against Tanzania.

The Deputy General Secretary of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme, made the announcement in Uyo, the capital of Akwa Ibom State in southeast Nigeria.

Dr. Ikpeme had arrived in Akwa Ibom State on Friday, as a one-man advance party ahead of the team’s assistant coaches and backroom staff who are expected to arrive in camp on Monday morning.

Home-boys Emmanuel Daniel, Ikechukwu Ezenwa (goalkeepers) and Jamiu Alimi (defender) are also expected in Uyo, alongside a number of overseas-based professionals, including defender William Troost-Ekong and forward Odion Ighalo.

Team captain, Mikel John Obi, who had led the National U-23 to Olympic bronze in Brazil, is expected to arrive at the team’s Le Meridien Hotel on Tuesday.

Both the Super Eagles and Taifa Stars have little other than pride to battle for in Saturday’s game, as Egypt’s Pharaohs have already picked the lone ticket from the group to Gabon.

However, the Eagles and their new Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, would use the match as a rehearsal for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying series match-day one clash with Zambia in Ndola on October 8.

Although the result at the Akwa Ibom International Stadium would not count, the outcome of the encounter at the Levy Nwanawasa Stadium in Ndola would set the tone for the Eagles’ World Cup qualifying campaign.

The invited players are:

Goalkeepers: Carl Ikeme (Wolverhampton Wanderers, England); Emmanuel Daniel (Enugu Rangers) and Ikechukwu Ezenwa (FC IfeanyiUbah).

Defenders: Leon Balogun (FSV Mainz 05, Germany); William Troost-Ekong (Haugesund FC, Norway); Chidozie Awaziem (FC Porto, Portugal); Jamiu Alimi (Kano Pillars); Abdullahi Shehu (Uniao da Madeira, Portugal); Musa Muhammed (Istanbul Basaksehir, Turkey); Elderson Echiejile (AS Monaco, France) and Kingsley Madu (AS Trencin, Slovakia).

Midfielders: Mikel John Obi (Chelsea FC, England); Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor, Turkey); Wilfred Ndidi (KRC Genk, Belgium) and Nosa Igiebor (Maccabi Tel Aviv, Israel).

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Leicester City, England); Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City, England); Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium); Victor Moses (Chelsea FC, England); Imoh Ezekiel (Al-Arabi Sporting Club, Qatar), Odion Ighalo (Watford FC, England); Brown Ideye (Olympiacos FC, Greece) and Victor Osimhen (Wolfsburg FC, Germany).

Leon Balogun Says Eagles Can Qualify For 2018 World Cup

Leon Balogun, Super Eagles, World CupSuper Eagles defender, Leon Balogun, believes Nigeria will book a place at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

He says although the round to qualification might be tough he also noted that it is the hard road that leads to success.

He, however, wants the team to take every opportunity at their disposal to ensure they book a spot at the world’s most prestigous tournament.

The 3-time African champions have been drawn in what is seen as a tough group that parades Algeria, Cameroon and Zambia.

The team will open their campign on October 3 away to the Chipolopolo of Zambia.

Group A has Tunisia, Libya, RDC and Guinea while Group C has Gabon, Mali, Cote d’Ivoire and Morocco.

Group D has Senegal, South Africa, Burkina Faso and Cape Verde while Group E has Ghana, Egypt, Congo and Uganda.

Yusuf Invites 26 Players For Super Eagles Friendlies

Super Eagles-Salisu Yusuf-Eagles FriendliesSuper Eagles Head Coach, Salisu Yusuf, has called up 26 players for the international friendlies against Mali and Luxembourg in Europe.

The three-time African champions would take on the Les Aiglons of Mali in France on May 27 before flying to Luxembourg to play the country’s national team on June 1.

Yusuf, who was installed as interim Head Coach by the Nigeria Football Federation last week, picked a relatively young squad that also includes former U-20 and former U-23 players.

All the invitees in the goalkeeper categories are: Carl Ikeme (Wolverhampton Wanderers, England), Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United, South Africa), and Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Sunshine Stars).

The defenders invited are: Abdullahi Shehu (Uniao da Madeira, Portugal), Musa Muhammed (Istanbul Basaksehir, Turkey), Elderson Echiejile (AS Monaco, France), Kingsley Madu (AS Trencin, Slovakia), Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa SK, Turkey), Leon Balogun (Mainz 05, Germany), Gbenga Arokoyo (Gaziantepspor, Turkey), William Troost Ekong (Haugesund FC, Norway), and Chidozie Awaziem (FC Porto, Portugal).

For the midfielders, players called up are: Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio, Italy), John Mikel Obi (Chelsea FC, England), Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City, England), Wilfred Ndidi (KRC Genk, Belgium), Raheem Lawal (Osmanlispor FK, Turkey), and Etebo Oghenekaro (SC Farense, Portugal).

The players invited in the forward category are: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia), Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium), Victor Moses (West Ham United, England), Odion Ighalo (Watford FC, England), Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England), Aminu Umar (Osmanlispor FK, Turkey), Aaron Samuel (CSKA Moscow, Russia), and Brown Ideye (Olympiakos FC, Greece).

Siasia Invites Balogun For Nigeria vs. Egypt Match

SiasiaCoach Samson Siasia has extended an invitation to FSV Mainz 05 of Germany defender, Leon Balogun, ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against the Pharaohs of Egypt.

The latest invitation brings to 21, the number of overseas–based players called for the games, including US-based Portland Timbers striker, Fanendo Adi, who has expressed delight at getting his first call-up for the Super Eagles.

Coach Siasia has also declared that only those who show guts and grit, and ability to adapt to conditions, would be selected to play against the Pharaohs.

The Super Eagles’ new boss stated that there would be no sentiments or consideration of previous ability as only the training sessions in Kaduna and Alexandria would be used to decide the 18 players on the roll for each game.

“These are two matches that we have to win. There would be no looking at what someone had done in the past, or current form at club level. If you are doing well at your club at the moment and you can’t show ferocious form in training and ability to adapt to the environment, then you would have no place.

“I am excited at the debate that has been generated by the team list. You can never satisfy everyone. The important thing is that we know the players we want for these big games and we have invited them, and we believe in them to deliver.”

The 1994 Africa Cup of Nations gold medallist gave the assurance that he has been speaking with all the players on the list and has received assurance that everyone is ready to give his all in both games.

“We continue to ask for the support of every Nigerian as we count down to the two matches. Our people should believe that we can do it, and we will do it.”

Nigeria host Egypt in Kaduna on Friday, March 25 and visit the Pharaohs in Alexandria on Tuesday, March 29 in two crucial 2017 Cup of Nations qualifiers. Egypt top the Group G table with six points, two more than the Eagles who are in second place.