AFCON 2021: Super Eagles Ready To Face Egypt – Musa 

Nigeria won the AFCON in 2013. Photo: Instagram/Super Eagles

 

Super Eagles captain, Ahmed Musa, says the team is prepared to take on record-holders, Egypt, in their first game of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) on Tuesday.

The former Leicester City man spoke after a training session of the three-time African champions on Saturday in Cameroon.

“Today’s training session was good and our conditioning is getting better and we are ready to play the first game,” Musa said about the Group D opener.

“Ebuehi is in camp and we are expecting Collins and hopefully he arrives before tomorrow (Sunday).

“We know it is important to win. Winning the AFCON will make a big impact on our country and our families.”


READ ALSO: Cameroon Set To Host AFCON Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

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A Depleted Attack? 

File photo: A Nigerian supporter dances during the 2022 Qatar World Cup African qualifiers group 3 football match between Nigeria and the Central Africa Republic at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, in Surulere in Lagos State, on October 7, 2021. PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP

 

Tuesday’s game will be the first time Nigeria and Egypt will be meeting at the AFCON since 2010. Egypt had won the last match between the sides 3-1 in Angola.

The 2021 AFCON is Coach Austine Eguavoen’s second time in charge of Nigeria at the continental competition.

He was head coach when the Super Eagles won bronze in Egypt 2006, the year Nigeria failed to qualify for the World Cup.

Nigeria head into the competition without strikers, Victor Osimhen, Dennis Emmanuel, and Odion Ighalo. While Osimhen was ruled out of the competition due to health challenges, it was not the same with Ighalo and Dennis.

In a statement confirming Dennis’ absence from the tournament, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) said Watford was “baring fangs”.

Days after, the body also confirmed that Ighalo, the top scorer at the 2019 edition of the AFCON, was not released by his Saudi Arabia side, Al-Shabab, to play for the 2013 champions in Cameroon. No replacement was called up for Ighalo unlike Dennis and Osimhen.

‘We Can’t Afford To Lose’: Eagles Ready To Dim Lone Stars In WCQ

(File Photo) Super Eagles players pose for a group picture before the start of the FIFA Qatar 2022 World Cup qualification football match between Nigeria and Liberia at Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos, on September 3, 2021. PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP

 

Super Eagles captain, Ahmed Musa, says the team will be aiming for three points when they battle the Lone Stars of Liberia in a 2022 World Cup qualifier this weekend. 

The former Leicester City forward believes the three-time African champions are equal to the task when they file out against their fellow West Africans in Tangier, Morocco as the race for Qatar reaches its crucial stages.

“We know the importance of the game. We can’t afford to lose. We have to go for the three points,” the 29-year-old former Kano Pillars star told NFF TV during a pre-match conference on Thursday.

“At the end of the game on Saturday, we hope to celebrate another important win.”


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Eagles Won’t Underrate Opponent

Musa, Iwobi, Ighalo Nominated For CAF Award
File photo: Ahmed Musa celebrates after scoring Nigeria’s opener during the 2018 World Cup game against Iceland in Russia. Mark RALSTON / AFP.

 

Having slipped to a shocking home defeat to the Central Africa Republic in October, Musa says the 1994 African champions won’t look down on Peter Butler’s men despite being 116 places ahead of George Weah’s countrymen.

With victory in Morocco set to take Nigeria a step closer to the play-off, the skipper has predicted a difficult match.

“We don’t have to underrate anybody now that football has changed, you can’t say because it is Liberia,” he said in the pre-match presser.

“They have wonderful players. We know that the game is going to be tough but the best will win.”

Nigeria are on nine points after four matches and could have sealed a place in the final round of qualifiers with a win against Central Africa Republic in Lagos. They now have to defeat Liberia in Morocco and avoid defeat against second-placed Cape Verde  – on seven points – at home in Lagos next week to reach the play-off.

Photos: Full House As Super Eagles Train Ahead Algeria, Tunisia Games

Nigeria came third at the 2019 AFCON. [email protected]

 

The Super Eagles have had their first training session on Tuesday ahead of the team’s friendly matches against Algeria and Tunisia billed for Friday, 9th October and Tuesday, 13th, October 2020 respectively. 

All players invited for the clash are already in the Eagles’ training camp in Austria and had two sessions on Tuesday evening.


Photos and videos of the team’s sessions were shared on the Super Eagles’ Twitter handle.

The sessions were light and basically meant to shake off any fatigue from the players but the team would have more intense training on Wednesday with coach Gernot Rohr.

Captain Ahmed Musa and Paul Onuachu of Genk were the last players to hit the camp for the friendly matches.

Onuachu was called up by head coach Rohr after Victor Osimhen of Napoli was ruled off from the games due to travel restrictions caused by COVID-19.

Musa is expected to lead the attack in the games which serve as a build-up for November’s double-header Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Sierra Leone.

See more photos from the training sessions as shared on the team’s Twitter handle:

The game between Algeria and Nigeria will be the fourth time both sides will play in the last three years.

Both teams were in the same group during the qualification series for the 2018 FIFA World Cup where the Nigerian side hammered the Fennecs 3-1 in Uyo before a 1-1 draw in Constantine.

The last meeting between them was at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) semi-final where a Riyad Mahrez late free-kick earned the North Africans a 2-1 victory as they (Algeria) went on to win the competition, beating Senegal in the final.

Full Team

Goalkeepers

Dele Alampasu (FK Ventspils, Latvia); Matthew Yakubu (SKF Sered, Slovakia); Maduka Okoye (Sparta Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

Defenders

Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Leon Balogun (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Chidozie Awaziem (FC Boavista, Portugal); William Ekong ( Udinese FC, Italy); Olaoluwa Aina ( Fulham FC, England); Jamilu Collins (SC Paderborn 07, Germany); Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal)

Midfielders

Mikel Agu (Vitoria Guimaraes, Portugal); Tyronne Ebuehi (FC Twente, Netherlands); Frank Onyeka (FC Midtjylland, Denmark); Samson Tijani (TSV Hartberg, Austria)

Forwards

Ahmed Musa (Al Nassr, Saudi Arabia); Alex Iwobi ( Everton FC, England); Paul Onuachu (Genk, Belgium); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain); Cyriel Dessers (KRC Genk, Belgium); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France); Chidera Ejuke ( CSKA Moscow, Russia)

Musa, Iwobi, Ighalo Nominated For CAF Award

Musa, Iwobi, Ighalo Nominated For CAF Award
Ahmed Musa celebrates after scoring Nigeria’s opener during the game. His strike also represents Nigeria’s first goal at Russia 2018. Mark RALSTON / AFP

 

Three Super Eagles players – Ahmed Musa, Alex Iwobi and Odion Ighalo have been nominated for the 2018 African Footballer of the Year award.

The trio were among the preliminary 34-man list released by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) after an impressive performance for both their clubs and country.

Ahead of the award, the list will eventually be cut to just three before a Technical and Development Committee by the continental body.

Also, media experts, legends, coaches of the quarter-finalists of the CAF Champions League, and as well as coaches and captains of the national teams will decide the winner.

The awards gala will hold on January 8, 2019, in Dakar, Senegal.

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.

Iheanacho, Mikel, Musa Make CAF Award 30-Man List

Iheanacho, Musa, Mikel, CAFNigerian stars, Kelechi Iheanacho, Mikel Obi and Ahmed Musa are among 30 players nominated by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) for the 2016 African Footballer of the Year.

This is Iheanacho’s first-ever nomination for the continent’s top individual honour after a successful season with Manchester City in the English Premier League.

The 20-year-old striker has also established himself at full international level after he has represented Nigeria at U-17 and U-20 levels.

Chelsea midfielder, Mikel inspired Nigeria to win bronze at the Rio Olympics, while Ahmed Musa has shone at Russian champions, CSKA Moscow before his big-money move to Leicester City.