World Cup Qualifiers: Nigeria To Face Cape Verde, CAR, Liberia

Nigeria’s Super Eagles celebrate after scoring a goal during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier final against Seychelles in Asaba, the Delta State capital on March 22, 2019. PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP

 

The Super Eagles of Nigeria have been drawn in Group C of the African qualifying series for the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Forty countries across the CAF region were divided into 10 groups of four teams each for the penultimate stage of the continental journey to Qatar.

Nigeria, three-time African champions, will play Cape Verde, Central African Republic, and Liberia in the second round of the continental qualification route.

The winner of the group will qualify for the final round of the qualifiers, which will be played on a knockout basis with the eventual five winners advancing to the world cup in Qatar.

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The Confederation of African Football (CAF) explained that the final round will have the 10 teams drawn into five home and away ties, with the five winners securing the ticket to represent Africa at the tournament scheduled for 21 November to 18 December 2022 in Qatar.

The group phase of the qualifiers starts in October 2020 and will last until October 2021.

See the groups below:

Group A

Algeria, Burkina Faso, Niger, Djibouti

Group B

Tunisia, Zambia, Mauritania, Equatorial Guinea

Group C

Nigeria, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Liberia

Group D

Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Mozambique, Malawi

Group E

Mali, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda

Group F

Egypt, Gabon, Libya, Angola

Group G

Ghana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia

Group H

Senegal, Congo, Namibia, Togo

Group I

Morocco, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Sudan

Group J

DR Congo, Benin, Madagascar, Tanzania

FIFA Ranking: Nigeria Ends Decade On A High

Nigeria’s defender Kenneth Omeruo (2nd-L) celebrates his goal during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) football match between Nigeria and Guinea at the Alexandria Stadium on June 26 , 2019. Giuseppe CACACE / AFP

 

The Super Eagles of Nigeria have ended the year with their highest world ranking in the last decade, FIFA rankings reveal.

According to data released by the football governing body on Thursday, the Eagles ended the year in the 31st position.

The last time Nigeria finished a year higher was in 2009, when the team was 22nd in the world.

However, with a total of 1493 points, the Super Eagles remained third in Africa, behind Senegal and Tunisia.

This year, the team finished third at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations held in Egypt, losing to eventual winners Algeria in the semi-finals.

Meanwhile, Belgium finished as the number one football team in the world for the second successive year.

World champions France and Brazil were second and third respectively, while England and Uruguay completed the top five.

 

Super Eagles Move Four Places Up In Latest FIFA Ranking

A file photos of Super Eagles of Nigeria during a training session.

 

The Super Eagles of Nigeria have moved four places up in the monthly The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) rankings released by the world football governing body.

The three-time African champions now occupy the 31st position in the world and third in Africa.

Senegal retained their spot as the best playing nation in the continent and 20th in the world, they are closely trailed by Tunisia who moved two spots to the 27th position.

Algeria also improved in the latest ranking moving three places to the 35th position in the world.

Morocco, despite dropping a spot to the 43rd position completes the continents top five playing nations.

AFCON 2021 Qualifiers: Nigeria Fight Back To Beat Lesotho

Photo: Super Eagles Twitter Handle

 

The Super Eagles of Nigeria came from a goal down to beat the Crocodiles of Lesotho 4-2 in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Lesotho took the lead on the 13th minute before Iwobi leveled the scores for the Super Eagles.

A brace from Victor Osimhen and one from Chukwueze ensured a maximum of three points for the Super Eagles.

READ ALSO: Euro 2020 Takes Shape As Netherlands, Germany And Croatia Qualify

Awaziem’s own goal on the 90th minute reduced the deficit for Lesotho, but the win was enough to secure a second win for the super Eagles who beat the Republic of Benin 2-1 at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo on Wednesday.

Nigeria will play Sierra Leone next year having six points and top group L.

The three-time African champions are aiming for their 19th appearance in the tournament, after winning their eighth bronze medal in the 2019 edition in Egypt.

Quiz Of The Week: Who Scored Nigeria’s Winning Goal Against Benin Republic?

Super Eagles Beat Squirrels Of Benin 2-1

A file photo of Super Eagles. AFP photo

 

Nigeria’s Super Eagles kick-started their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations campaign on a winning note by beating the Squirrels of Benin Republic 2-1.

The squirrels drew first blood with Stephane Sessegnon’s 3rd-minute goal, which stemmed from a flaw in the Nigerian defense line.

However, Victor Osimhen brought the Eagles back into the game which was played at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, with an accurate kick from the penalty spot after Ola Aina was fouled in the box.

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The Eagles went on to claim the match through Samuel Kalu’s lovely solo effort, handing Nigeria the entire three points at the 63rd minute of the keenly contested Group L cracker.

Nigeria now leads the group, after other group contenders Sierra Leone and Lesotho pulled a 1-1 draw in their qualifier game.

Rohr Replaces Idowu With Anaemena As Eagles Prepare For Squirrels

World Cup: Gernot Rohr Says Russians Will Support Nigeria
A file photo of Super Eagles Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr. Ben STANSALL / AFP

 

 

Super Eagles Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, has called up Enyimba FC defender, Ifeanyi Anaemena, to the team’s camp.

This comes as the team prepare to open their 2021 AFCON qualifying campaign against Benin Republic’s Squirrels on Wednesday in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.

Anaemena will also be part of the squad for the Day Two clash with Lesotho in Maseru on Sunday next week.

But Russia-based left-back, Bryan Idowu, who submitted his international passport for renewal will not be available because the document is not ready for him to travel to Nigeria for the encounter.

In October, Anaemena was impressive for the Eagles team B in their 2020 African Nations Championship qualifier against Togo at the Agege Stadium.

He has also been a key player for Enyimba, two-time CAF Champions League winners, as they reached the group phase of this year’s CAF Confederation Cup competition.

Captain Ahmed Musa and 13 other players arrived at the Eagles’ Ibom Meridien Hotel and Resorts on Monday while the remaining nine squad members re expected on Tuesday morning.

The 14 who trained on Monday evening are Musa, goalkeepers – Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Daniel Akpeyi and Maduka Okoye; defenders – Kenneth Omeruo, Chidozie Awaziem, Olaoluwa Aina, Jamilu Collins and Oluwasemilogo Ajayi; midfielders – Alex Iwobi, Ramon Azeez and Wilfred Ndidi; and forwards – Samuel Kalu and Victor Osimhen.

Those arriving on Tuesday morning are defenders William Ekong, Anaemena, and Abdullahi Shehu; midfielders Mikel Agu and Joseph Ayodele-Aribo; as well as forwards Moses Simon, Samuel Chukwueze, Paul Onuachu, and Emmanuel Dennis.

Ayodele-Aribo, who plays for Glasgow Rangers in Scotland, has scored in the Eagles’ last two games – against Ukraine (2-2) and Brazil (1-1) – incidentally the only two matches he has played for Nigeria.

The Super Eagles will train at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium on Tuesday evening before their match with the Benin Republic on Wednesday.

Rohr Invites Players For 2021 AFCON Qualifiers

 

Super Eagles’ Technical Adviser Gernot Rohr has selected his squad for next month’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches against the Benin Republic and Lesotho.

Captain Ahmed Musa is making a return from injury and midfielder Ramon Azeez has been retained after seeing action in 1-1 draw international friendly match with five-time world champions Brazil in Singapore.

Goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi is called for the first time since the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt this year summer – first choice Francis Uzoho is out for several months after his horrific injury against Brazil – and defender Kenneth Omeruo is also back, while there is another opportunity for midfielder Mikel Agu to justify his place in the team.

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France-based utility player Samuel Kalu returns after missing the prestige friendly game against Brazil. Stoke City’s Oghenekaro Etebo is on standby as a result of his injury and is being monitored.

Nigeria, who won bronze in Egypt will open their campaign for a place in Cameroon 2021 against the Squirrels of Benin Republic at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo on Wednesday, 13th November. When that is done, the team will travel to Maseru to play the Crocodiles of Lesotho on Sunday, 17th November.

23 EAGLES TO BATTLE BENIN REPUBLIC & LESOTHO

Goalkeepers: Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Heartland FC); Maduka Okoye (Fortuna Dusseldorf, Germany)

Defenders: Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Chidozie Awaziem (CD Leganes, Spain); William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy); Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Bryan Idowu (Lokomotiv Moscow, Russia)

Midfielders: Alexander Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Mikel Agu (Vitoria Guimaraes, Portugal); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Ramon Azeez (Granada FC, Spain)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassr, Saudi Arabia); Victor Osimhen (Lille OSC, France); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain); Paul Onuachu (KRC Genk, Belgium); Emmanuel Dennis (Club Brugge, Belgium); Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France);

Standby: Leon Balogun (Brighton & Hove Albion, England); Peter Olayinka (SK Slavia Prague, Czech Republic); Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City, England)

Nigeria’s Super Eagles Drop One Spot On FIFA Ranking

A file photo of Super Eagles. AFP photo

 

 

The Super Eagles of Nigeria have dropped by one spot on the latest FIFA world ranking.

According to the report published by the world’s football governing body on Thursday, the Eagles slipped to 35th spot in the month of October.

The team scored garnered 1,481 points as against 1482 points recorded in the month of September.

READ ALSO: Casemiro Denies Super Eagles Victory Over Brazil

Despite the slight drop, Nigeria remain the third-best team in Africa behind leaders Senegal and Tunisia who sit 20th and 29th with 1,546 and 1,495 points, respectively.

Meanwhile, world leaders Belgium, France, and Brazil maintained their positions following the over 180 international matches played recently.

England, Uruguay, Portugal, Croatia, Spain, Argentina, and Colombia complete the list of top-10 best teams in the football world.

Similarly, four teams Ukraine (22nd, up 3), Japan (28th, up 3), Turkey (32nd, up 4) and Russia (37th, up 5), recorded the most significant rises in the month of review.

Draw With Brazil Is Huge Boost For Super Eagles, Says Rohr

Brazil’s forward Gabriel Jesus fights for the ball during an international friendly football match between Brazil and Nigeria at the National Stadium in Singapore on October 13, 2019. Roslan RAHMAN / AFP

 

Super Eagles Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, has praised his team for putting up a good performance in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Brazil in a friendly match in Singapore.

Five-time world champions Brazil had to dig deep before securing the equalizer as the Super Eagles had them chasing the ball in the first half following Joseph Ayodele-Aribo’s 35th-minute goal.

“This result is a good confidence booster for the team. We now have to prepare for the more competitive games next month.

“I am happy we stayed organized even when the Brazilians mounted a lot of pressure on us in the second half. The only negative thing is the injury to Francis Uzoho,” the Franco-German said.

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Aribo’s goal, his second in a second appearance for the Super Eagles, was a clinical finish as he received a pass from Moses Simon and then maneuvered his way through a number of Brazilian legs to shoot past goalkeeper Ederson.

Brazil drew level three minutes into the second half through Casemiro. And despite several attacks from the Samba Boys, the three-time African champions stayed strong and could have won it if Aribo and Samuel Chukwueze had converted late chances.

The team doctor, Ibrahim Gyaran has confirmed that goalkeeper Francis Uzoho, who horribly twisted his leg as he went for the ball from a corner kick, will be out for about six months,

Nigeria host Benin Republic on 14th November in the opening day of the 2021 AFCON qualifying campaign. On 19th November, they will take Lesotho for a matchday two action.

Casemiro Denies Super Eagles Victory Over Brazil

Brazil’s midfielder Casemiro (#5) kicks the ball to score an equaliser during an international friendly football match against Nigeria at the National Stadium in Singapore on October 13, 2019. Roslan RAHMAN / AFP

 

 

The Super Eagles of Nigeria were forced to a 1-1 draw in their international friendly match against Brazil on Sunday at the National Stadium in Singapore.

A few minutes into the game, Lille forward Victor Osimhen attempted to grab a lead for Nigeria with a shot on target but was saved by Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson Moraes.

The Eagles continued a good job by containing the South American side in the early minutes of the match while controlling the pace.

Brazil also made an attempt with a beautiful header by Gabriel Jesus while goalkeeper Francis Uzoho was quick to save the Eagles.

Brazil’s forward Gabriel Jesus (R) and Nigeria’s defender Jamilu Collins during the international friendly football match at the National Stadium in Singapore on October 13, 2019. Roslan RAHMAN / AFP

 

The game became more interesting for thousands of Nigerians watching when Rangers midfielder Joe Aribo set the Super Eagles on the lead.

Aribo made with a brilliant finish after making his way through Brazilian defenders and fired past goalkeeper Moraes in the 35th minute, thanks to efforts from the duo of Lille and Nantes forward, Victor Osimhen and Moses Simon.

The Super Eagles shared a video of the goal on its verified Twitter handle.

 

Casemiro Denies Super Eagles

 

Nigeria sustained the tempo with the 1-0 scoreline which lasted till the end of the first half.

However, Brazilian forward Casemiro cut short the expectations of Nigerians who were optimistic that the Eagles would win the match.

Barely three minutes after the restart, the Real Madrid midfielder denied the Super Eagles victory with an equaliser.

Brazil’s midfielder Casemiro (R) celebrates after scoring an equaliser during the international friendly football match against Nigeria at the National Stadium in Singapore on October 13, 2019. Roslan RAHMAN / AFP

 

On the other hand, Osimhen missed a chance of putting Nigeria on the lead again in the 52nd minute.

The 20-year-old headed on target from Villarreal midfielder Samuel Chukwueze’s cross but was promptly saved by Moraes.

While the match was ongoing, Maduka Okoye made his debut as he replaced injured Francis Uzoho while Paul Onuachu came in for Osimhen.

Brazil’s defender Marquinhos (L) and Nigeria’s forward Victor Osimhen fight for the ball during the international friendly football match at the National Stadium in Singapore on October 13, 2019. Roslan RAHMAN / AFP

 

Simon and Alex Iwobi were also replaced by Emmanuel Dennis and Ramon Azeez just as Peter Olayinka and Abdullahi Shehu substituted Samuel Chukwueze and Joe Aribo respectively.

On Brazil’s side, those substituted are Neymar – Philippe Coutinho, Everton – Richarlison, Roberto Firmino – Gabriel Barbosa, Arthur – Fabinho, and Gabriel Jesus – Lucas Paqueta.

The match ended 1-1.

VIDEO: Super Eagles Grab Half-Time Lead Against Brazil In Singapore

Brazil’s forward Neymar (R) fights for the ball with the Super Eagles of Nigeria’s midfielder Wilfred Ndidi during a friendly international football match at the National Stadium in Singapore on October 13, 2019. Roslan RAHMAN / AFP

 

 

The Super Eagles of Nigeria have taken the lead ahead of Brazil in the ongoing international friendly match between the two teams.

The match which kick-off at 1:00PM Nigerian time, is ongoing at the National Stadium in Singapore.

Rangers midfielder Joe Aribo set Nigeria on the lead with a brilliant finish after making his way through Brazilian defenders and fired past goalkeeper Ederson Moraes.

The goal came in the 35th minute with efforts from the duo of Lille and Nantes forward, Victor Osimhen and Moses Simon, respectively.

The Super Eagles shared a video of the goal on its verified Twitter handle.

Watch the video below: