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‘Nigeria To Play Offensive Football In Egypt’

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Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr has revealed that his side is aiming to score more goals and will play offensive football at the Africa Cup of Nations finals.
The three-time African champions have included nine forwards in their 23-man squad list for the biennial showpiece.
Changchun Yatai’s Odion Ighalo leads the frontline with Ahmed Musa, Samuel Chukwueze, Moses Simon, Henry Onyekuru, Alex Iwobi, Samuel Kalu, Paul Onuachu and Victor Osimhen all included.
Despite settling for a goalless draw in their build-up game against Zimbabwe last Saturday, Rohr sees the available options upfront as an opportunity for the team to switch tactics during play and also give chance for fresh legs.
“We have a lot of strikers which means we want to score more goals and play offensive football, we also have good defenders,” Rohr said.
“Some of our strikers could play in the midfield or in the plan 3-5-2 on the side, so it is good to have the opportunity to change in our offensive methods.
“We have quickness and ability to change in the offensive department, We can also give them the chance to rest.”
Leicester City star Kelechi Iheanacho was a notable exclusion from the team that travelled to Egypt for the tournament.
The German tactician faulted the 22-year-old’s goal drought and lack of playing time at the King Power Stadium as reasons for his exclusion.
“It is what happened in his club, he did not play at Leicester City, only few minutes and since September he scored one goal,” Rohr continued.
“He has something missing, a little bit in confidence and also professionalism, he is a young player and can come back again but also we have better options.
“The choice was not easy but we have objectives, we do not choose the names we choose the best one.”
After yesterday’s friendly match against Senegal at Ismailia Stadium, the Super Eagles will depart for Alexandria, where they will play all their Group B games.
Nigeria will play Burundi on June 22 followed by fixtures against Guinea and Madagascar, on June 26 and June 30 respectively.

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2021 AFCON Qualifiers: Osimhen, Diedhov Inspire Nigeria, Senegal

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Victor Osimhen inspired Nigeria with a brace to record a 2-4 away win over Lesotho yesterday, just as a hat-trick from Famara Diedhiou helped Senegal win 4-1 away to eSwatini as the second round of group games in 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying got underway.
There were also wins for Burkina Faso, Mali, Uganda, South Africa, Congo Brazzaville, Guinea, Benin and 2021 Nations Cup hosts Cameroon.
Senegal, the 2019 Nations Cup runners-up, made it two wins from two in Group I in a match that was interrupted by a dramatic rain-storm in eSwatini.
In difficult conditions, Diedhiou scored a quick-fire hat-trick with goals in the 59th, 66th and 68th minutes.
In an eventful match, eSwatini came straight back with a 70th minute goal from Fganelo Mamba but Mamba was then sent off shortly after his strike for two bookings.
Senegal took advantage and scored a fourth through Badou Ndiaye to make it 4-1 to the visitors.
Congo Brazzaville is second in Group I, three points adrift of Senegal, after a 3-0 win over Guinea-Bissau.
Goals from Prince Ibara, Junior Makiesse and Silvere Granvoula earned Congo the victory.
In Group L, Nigeria survived a scare. For the second match running, the Super Eagles had to come from behind before winning 4-2 in Lesotho.
Masoabi Nkoto gave the hosts a shock lead after just 11 minutes, but Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen put on an impressive display to inspire his team to victory.
The in-form Lille striker set up goals for Alex Iwobi and Samuel Chukwueze and on a terrific day for the 20-year-old, Osimhen then scored twice to take the match away from Lesotho’s reach, although they did bag a late consolation goal when Chidozie Awaziem struck into his own net. Nigeria has maximum points in Group L. Earlier in this group, Benin, who lost to Nigeria in their opening match, were 1-0 winners over Sierra Leone at home.
Jodel Dossou scored after 28 minutes to give Benin their first points of the campaign.

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S’Eagles Get Defensive Boost Against Lesotho

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Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr has been handed a defensive boost ahead of the AFCON 2021 qualifying match against Lesotho, after Center Half Kenneth Omeruo was passed fit for the clash by the team doctor.
Omeruo was an injury doubt, after he picked up a knock during training before the game against Benin Republic, and he was dropped to the bench – an unused substitute in the 2-1 win
The Super Eagles arrived Maseru on Saturday with all 23 players invited by the coach and team doctor, Ibrahim Gyaran gave an update on the players’ match fitness
Although it is uncertain if the CB will be selected for Sunday’s game, Gyaran as quoted by told thenff.com confirmed, “that there are no injuries within the 23 -man playing body.”
Nigeria tops Group L with maximum points after match day one and can go three points clear if they pick a win in Maseru.

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Nigeria Misses Out On Olympic Football Event

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Nigeria missed out on a chance to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games football tournament when they were held 0-0 by South Africa at the U-23 Africa Cup of Nations in Cairo on Friday.
Unmarked Sunday Faleye wasted a great chance to snatch victory for the Nigerians in the final minute of their last Group B game by heading a cross wide when a goal seem inevitable.
Ivory Coast edged Zambia 1-0 through a goal from Kouadio-Yves Dabila in the other Group B match of the eight-nation qualifying competition.
The final group matches were played simultaneously in the Egyptian capital with all four countries in contention for semi-finals places before the kick-offs.
Ivory Coast (six points) topped the final standings followed by South Africa (five) and they advanced to the semi-finals tomorrow while Nigeria (four) and Zambia (one) headed home.
Impressive Group A winners Egypt will face South Africa at the penultimate stage followed by Ivory Coast against Group A runners-up Ghana.
The semi-finals winners are guaranteed places at the Tokyo Olympics while the losers get a second chance in the third place play-off to fill the third and last African slot.
Egypt has competed at Olympic football tournaments 11 times – a record for an African nation, but have never collected medals.
Ghana will be seeking a seventh appearance, South Africa a third and the Ivory Coast a second at a tournament where Nigeria (1996) and Cameroon (2000) have won gold.
Olympic qualifying is restricted to under-23 footballers, but three ‘over-age’ stars are permitted at the finals.
Meanwhile, Henry Nwosu has called on the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to go back to the drawing board after Dream Team VII failed to reach the semi-final of the 2019 Africa U23 Cup of Nations in Egypt.
The Imama Amapakabo’s men played out a goalless draw with South Africa in their final Group B game at Al-Salam Stadium on Friday and crashed out in the process.
Nwosu said that it will be unfair to blame the failure on the players and added that the NFF was distracted by the corruption case hanging around their neck affected the Nigerian teams.
“The team did not do well. They did not qualify for Olympic which is our expectation for them,” Nwosu told Tidesports source.
“I believe the corruption case the federation has been battling with affected out teams because if our house is in the order we will be able to make better planning and preparation.
“We need to re-plan and make the system better so that it can work for the players, the coaches and Nigeria will be the better for it.
“We can’t blame the players, they did their best. It is the federation that needs to put their house in order.”

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