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Nigerian League

Nigeria vs Saudi Arabia: Super Eagles seek Falcons’ scalp as preparations for AFCON 2023 truly begins

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Nigeria’s Super Eagles and Saudi Arabia’s Green Falcons will be at each other’s jugular on Friday evening in a friendly encounter in the Portugese city of Portimao that promises so much. Nigeria are three-time champions of Africa just as Saudi Arabia are three-time champions of Asia.

Both countries have met only once previously, also in a friendly match, also in Europe. That scoreless encounter in Wattens, Austria on 25th May 2010 was as part of the Super Eagles’ final preparations for the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals in South Africa. The Saudis did not qualify for that tournament.

As both teams lined up at the Alpenstadion that evening, 13 years ago, the Super Eagles were rated 21st in the world while the Green Falcons were 66th. Today, the Eagles are 40th in the world while the Falcons are 57th. Incidentally, Saudi Arabia’s best-ever ranking was at 21st in July 2004. The Eagles were ranked 5th in the world in April 1994, just after winning the Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia.

For Friday’s encounter, Head Coach Jose Peseiro, who coached Saudi Arabia that evening in Austria 13 years ago but is now in charge of Nigeria, will have exciting talents Bright Osayi-Samuel, Jordan Torunarigha, Calvin Bassey, Bruno Onyemaechi, Raphael Onyedika, Fisayo Dele-Bashiru, Terem Moffi, Victor Boniface, Samuel Chukwueze, Sadiq Umar and of course FIFA Ballon d’Or Dozen-Shortlist member, Victor Osimhen, at his disposal.

There are also experienced defenders Kenneth Omeruo (who was in the 2013 AFCON-winning squad and is happy to echo ‘Let’s Do It Again’), Semi Ajayi and Chidozie Awaziem, midfielders Wilfred Ndidi, Frank Onyeka, Joseph Ayodele-Aribo and Alex Iwobi, and forwards Moses Simon and Kelechi Iheanacho.

While Peseiro will surely miss in-form Nottingham Forest of England forward Taiwo Awoniyi, who is sidelined by injury, there is the opportunity to either start Victor Boniface or see what ravemaking France-based Terem Moffi can truly offer. Moffi was in Peseiro’s first roll-of-the-dice with the Eagles in the friendlies against Mexico and Ecuador in the USA last year’s summer, and scored as the Eagles marched on Sao Tome and Principe to set a record international scoreline in an AFCON 2023 qualifying match in Agadir, Morocco some days later.

With the recall of goalkeeper Maduka Okoye, the rivalry between him and Francis Uzoho for Nigeria’s number one jersey resumes, and both goal-tenders know that only the best will keep the gloves in next month’s World Cup qualifiers and at the AFCON early next year.

Friday’s game kicks off at 5pm Nigeria time.

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Nigerian League

NNL solicits for funds from cooperate organisation

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NNL solicits for funds from cooperate organisation

The Nigeria National League, NNL, has appealed to cooperate organisations for funds to assist in the effective running of the second tier league.

NNL chairman, George Aluo noted that the unavailability of funds has hindered the progress of his administration.

“I must continue to express my appreciation to Alhaji Gusau for finding me worthy to serve as NNL chairman and a board member of the NFF,” he stated.

“My appeal is that corporate organizations should come to our aid and do what GTI is doing for the NPFL.

“We’re not saying they should give us money to put in our pockets. Let them take care of referees indemnity and once this is done, the referees will not be intimidated but rather be at their best and it will now be possible for teams to be winning more on the road as is presently being witnessed in the NPFL.”

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Nigerian League

NPFL reschedules matchday 30 fixtures

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NPFL reschedules matchday 30 fixtures

The Nigeria Premier Football League, NPFL, has rearranged the matchday 30 fixtures, DAILY POST reports.

Three games were initially scheduled to take place on Saturday April 13th, 2024.

The games have now been moved to Sunday April 14th.

The matches affected are the ties involving Doma United and Remo Stars, Bendel Insurance versus Kano Pillars and the Oriental derby between Rangers and Abia Warriors.

The remaining matchday fixtures will be played on Tuesday, April 16th across all venues.

The NPFL Chief Operating Officer Davidson Owumi disclosed this in a memo sent to the affected
clubs.

Rangers currently occupy the top position in the NPFL table with 51 points from 29 games.

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Nigerian League

Asuquo wins Enyimba Player of the Month award for March

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Asuquo wins Enyimba Player of the Month award for March

Uwana Asuquo has won Enyimba’s Player of the Month award for March.

Asuquo beat midfielder Elijah Akanni to the award.

The defender won 51.7 votes, with Akanni getting 48.3 votes.

The right back helped the People’s Elephant secure two victories at home against Niger Tornadoes and Doma United, respectively.

Asuquo has featured in 22 games for Enyimba in the Nigeria Premier Football League this season.

He has two assists to his name.

Asuquo will be hoping to continue with his standout performance as Enyimba continue their title fight.

Enyimba will face Heartland in a matchday 30 fixture in Aba on Sunday.

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