Ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations this summer in Egypt, Super Eagles Head Coach, Gernot Rohr, has given hope to former Kano Pillars striker, Junior Lokosa to return to the national team following his move to Esperance of Tunisia during the week.
Lokosa was a last minute drop from the final list of 23 players to the World Cup finals in Russia last year and the decision generated a lot of discussion in the media because many sees the young striker as a shinning light from the repackaged domestic football league.
In an interview with newsmen in Abuja, the Franco-German tactician stated that if the player is able to prove his worth with the North African team, it will surely boost his chances to return to Super Eagles in preparation for the African elite football tournament in Egypt.
“Signing for Esperance of Tunisia is good for his career and that will help improve his goal scoring ability. Lokosa is a good player but only good outing with Esperance of Tunisia will determine his return to the Super Eagles,” he remarked.
Last Monday, Lokosa who was the highest goal scorer with 19 goals last season finally moved to Tunisia which pundits speculated was made possible on the recommendation of the Super Eagles coach because the striker did not undergo any trial before he signed the two-year contract for the club.
Aribo On Road To Super Stardom -Gerrard
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard believes that Nigerian midfielder, Joe Aribo has all it takes to become a superstar, considering his impressive form.
The midfielder has hit the ground running since his summer switch from Charlton Athletic to the Ibrox Stadium outfit, scoring four goals in 17 appearances amid other dazzling displays.
His form earned him a call-up to the Super Eagles and has continued to shine for the three-time African champions since making his debut against Ukraine last month.
Aribo scored a sublime goal last week for Nigeria, helping the West Africans earn a famous 1-1 draw against Brazil.
Rangers boss and Liverpool legend Gerrard has lauded the display and tipped the 23-year-old midfielder for success.
“The moment of the goal [against Brazil] and the type of goal, he will score them throughout his career because he’s got all the attributes to make the box,” Gerrard told Tidesports source.
“He’s got the soft feet in the box to create exciting things, and I still have to pinch myself that we got him here.
“Joe can be whatever he wants to be. If he stays as humble as he is, stays as professional and keeps showing effort and desire, Joe can make his career whatever he wants it to be.”
Aribo returned to the Gers’ squad on Sunday against Hearts after missing their last three games due to a head injury.
The midfielder will hope to play a part when Rangers take on Porto in a Europa League game tomorrow.
Ghana, Other Heavy Weights Dumped Out Of CHAN
Ghana has missed out on a place at the 2020 African Nations Championship finals after they were beaten 1-0 on aggregate by Burkina Faso.
The Burkinabe claimed a narrow victory in Kumasi in the first leg of their qualifier and then held the home-based Black Stars to a 0-0 draw in the return in Ouagadougou on Sunday to advance to the finals in Cameroon.
Senegal will also play no part in the finals after they were ousted 3-1 on penalties by Guinea after the teams had played to a 1-1 aggregate draw.
Trailing from the first leg, Mamadouba Bangoura scored for Guinea to level the tie and send it to penalties, where they held their nerve to emerge victorious and advance.
Niger also caused a shock when they ousted Ivory Coast despite a 1-0 loss in Abidjan as Guy Stephen Bedi got the only goal of the game, but could not help his side overturn their 2-0 first leg deficit.
Tunisia claimed a 3-1 aggregate success over Libya, aided by a 2-1 victory in the second leg in neutral Morocco on Sunday as Anice Badri grabbed a brace, while Mali defeated Mauritania 2-0, and by the same scoreline on aggregate, in Bamako on Sunday.
DR Congo produced a rampant 4-1 victory for a 6-1 aggregate success over Central African Republic as Joel Beya netted a brace, while Congo-Brazzaville edged Equatorial Guinea 3-2 on aggregate as they claimed a 1-0 home success thanks to a Carof Bakoua strike.
Finally, Zimbabwe held Lesotho to a 0-0 draw as they won 3-1 on aggregate to seal a finals place.
The full line-up for the tournament in Cameroon early next year is therefore as follows: Cameroon, Morocco, Tunisia, Mali, Guinea, Togo, Niger, Burkina Faso, DR Congo, Congo, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
Nigeria Names Strong Squad For U-17 W/Cup
Nigeria Under-17 head coach Manu Garba has announced the Golden Eaglets squad for this year’s FIFA U17 World Cup finals starting in Brazil next Saturday.
The tactician has named Captain Samson Tijani and forwards Wisdom Ubani and Olakunle Olusegun in his final 21 players.
Garba also named goalkeeper Sunday Stephen, defenders Charles Etim and Ferdinand Ikenna, midfielder Ibraheem Jabaar and forward Akinkunmi Amoo among those who will seek to wrest a six global cadet title for Nigeria.
The Golden Eaglets, winners in 1985, 1993, 2007, 2013 and 2015, will open this year’s tournament with a clash against Hungary in Goiania on 26th October.
Nigeria will then clash with Ecuador (at the same venue on 29th October) and Australia (in Brasilia on 1st November) in Group B.
Vitoria is the other city hosting the 24 –nation championship.
The Nigerian squad includes
Goalkeepers: Sunday Stephen (Football College Academy); Joseph Oluwabusola (Bournemouth AFC, England); Daniel Jinadu (West Ham United, England)
Defenders: Charles Etim (Blessed Stars Academy); Usman Ibrahim (Giant Brilliants FC); Ferdinand Ikenna (A&B FC); Quadri Edun (G12 FC); Oluwatimilehin Adeniyi (Sporting Dreams FC); Hamzat Ojediran (Jossy United FC)
Midfielders: Samson Tijani (Collings Edwin FC); Akinkunmi Amoo (Sidos Football Club); Daniel Francis (FC Hearts); Ibraheem Jabaar (Ijebu United); Ibrahim Said (Dabo Babes Academy); Monsuru Opeyemi (B Angel FC); Peter Agba (Falala Football Club); Peter Olawale (Delta Warriors)
Forwards: Olakunle Olusegun (ABS FC); Wisdom Ubani (Giant Brilliants FC); Divine Nwachukwu (Riverline FC); Abba Bichi (Talentbase Sport FC).
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