Connect with us

Uncategorized

Dominican Republic 2024: Olowookere sure of final hurdle ticket as Flamingos return

Published

on

Nigeria’s U17 girls, Flamingos, are back in the country following their FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup qualifying match against Burkina Faso’s U17 girls in Bamako, Mali on Saturday that ended in a 1-1 draw.

Head Coach Bankole Olowookere said on arrival in Abuja on Tuesday that the support of Nigerians based in Bamako helped put the Flamingos in the spirit during the first leg, and the tactician is calling on Nigerians based in Abuja and environs to storm the MKO Abiola National Stadium this Saturday to support the girls as they aim to stroll past the Burkinabes into the final round of the race.

“We appreciate the support of Nigerians for the Flamingos over the years, but we are calling especially for their support this weekend when we take on the Burkina Faso girls in the return leg of our qualifying fixture. The Flamingos will be ready to make the nation proud by winning to reach the last round of the qualification series.

“I have the players to do the job. All we are asking for is support from the stands. Our objective is to not only win the ticket but to go to the World Cup and surpass our last outing of third-place finish in India in 2022.”

Chidi Harmony scored for Nigeria in the 55th minute but poor communication in the defence led to Burkina Faso equalizing with six minutes left through Rainata Oubda.

Victory over the Burkinabes will set the Flamingos up for the final qualifying fixture, against the winner of the Senegal/Liberia fixture. The Senegalese lead 3-1 going into the second leg in Monrovia this weekend.

Author

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Uncategorized

Manu Garba proud of Eaglets as team countenances Niger Republic

Published

on

Coach Manu Garba has asserted that he is proud of the Golden Eaglets after Thursday’s scoreless encounter with their Burkina Faso

Coach Manu Garba has asserted that he is proud of the Golden Eaglets after Thursday’s scoreless encounter with their Burkina Faso counterparts in the Group B opener of the WAFU B U17 Championship.

Five-time champions Nigeria created several scoring chances particularly late in the game at the Accra University Stadium, but failed to utilise even one that could have earned them the three points and handed them early leadership of the pool.

However, Garba said the boys played a cohesive game in their first-ever international outing and deserve credit for their display.

“We are proud of our team’s performance. Although we didn’t secure the win that we hoped for, our players showed great teamwork and sportsmanship. We look forward to our next match and the opportunity to continue growing and improving.

“The boys will get better with experience and exposure.”

Against the Burkinabes, the Eaglets showed flair and fluency, but a heavy downpour in the final 15 minutes of the game disrupted the general flow of play, with the pitch waterlogged and effective control and passing impossible.

The Golden Eaglets go up against their counterparts from the Niger Republic on Sunday evening (6pm Ghana time; 7pm Nigeria) with renewed hope and vigour to pick up the three points that will enhance their chances of a place in the last four.

Author

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

Dominican Republic 2024: Olowookere says girls focused on Burkina Faso, not Senegal

Published

on

Head Coach Bankole Olowookere has assured that the Nigeria U17 girls have their minds firmly trained on Saturday’s FIFA U17 Women’s World

Head Coach Bankole Olowookere has assured that the Nigeria U17 girls have their minds firmly trained on Saturday’s FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup qualifying match against their counterparts from Burkina Faso, and not on the final round of the qualifiers against either of Senegal and Liberia.

“We have one hurdle to cross before the final hurdle, and that is what we are thinking about. Yes, we know it would be either Senegal or Liberia in the final round, but we have to first get past the roadblock mounted by Burkina Faso.

“We threw away a lot of opportunities in the first leg. If we had converted those chances, we would be sleeping easy and thinking this is a formality match, but we did not. On Saturday, we must convert our chances and that can only be done by good presence of mind and focus.”

Olowookere led the Flamingos to third-place finish at the last edition of the global finals in India, and knows only victory on Saturday will propel his girls to a final round fixture that will present the opportunity for a return to the World Cup.

Senegal thrashed Liberia 3-1 in the first leg of their fixture in Dakar and look poised to be the team waiting in that final round.

On Thursday, the Flamingos received motivation from the NFF Technical Director, Coach Augustine Eguavoen and the CEO of Enugu Rangers FC, Barr. Amobi Ezeaku, who were both at the team’s training session.

Eguavoen said: “I’m pleased with what I have seen, and I can assure you that I will deliver my monetary gift to you after the match.” On his part, Ezeaku, who also expressed delight with the display of the girls at training, promised the team the sum of one million naira.

Saturday’s encounter at the MKO Abiola National Stadium will commence at 4.30pm. The first leg in Bamako last Saturday ended 1-1.

Author

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

Victor Boniface: From playing in the streets of Akure to Bundesliga champion

Published

on

Last Sunday, Super Eagles forward Victor Boniface made history with his German Bundesliga club, Bayer Leverkusen

Last Sunday, Super Eagles forward Victor Boniface made history with his German Bundesliga club, Bayer Leverkusen, when they defeated Werder Bremen 5 – 0 to be crowned the new champions of Germany. The win meant that Bayer Leverkusen won the Bundesliga for the first time with 5 games to spare.

More significantly, Coach Xabi Alonso’s side became the first German club to go 43 games unbeaten. Alonso’s team also displaced perennial champions, Bayern Munich from their Olympian heights in startling fashion.

In all this, Nigeria international, Victor Boniface has been key to coach Alonso’s plans. Despite the disruptive injury spells that have sometimes put him on the sidelines, the Nigerian forward has scored 18 goals and provided 11 assists in 25 games across all competitions.

Boniface who scored the opener before registering an assist in the same game has been a revelation in his debut season in Germany and has now celebrated Leverkusen’s remarkable triumph by getting himself custom-made Diamond chains.

As part of the celebrations that have followed the historic feat in Germany, the 23-year-old Super Eagles striker recruited the services of prominent jeweller, Buchi Obasi, the man behind Osimhen’s championship ring and chains after he led Napoli to the Scudetto last season. One of the large pendants features an encrusted Diamond inscription that reads “Dreams Are For Real” with a throwback picture of his late mother and his siblings.

The other one was created solely as tribute to his late mother, also featuring an encrusted Diamond inscription that reads “Keep Resting Mama.”

The value of both pieces have been estimated to be in the region of ¦ 10,000,000,

After his mother passed away last year, Boniface previously revealed that he grew up with his grand-parents and sometime last year, flew out his grandma to watch him play in the Bundesliga.

Still in celebratory mood, Boniface took a walk down memory lane, as he shared a photo from his early days playing football. In the post which he made on X, Boniface posted a picture captured from his childhood with the phrase “If you like give up”.

Boniface’s post gives fans a glimpse of his humble beginnings and how far he has come; from playing street soccer in Akure, to becoming a Bundesliga champion in his first year in Germany.

The 23-year-old’s post serves as an inspiration to others to keep pushing and not give up on their dreams.

In a brief interview granted after the title-deciding match, Boniface acknowledged his family and fans in Akure, and also hinted at a celebration saying “we go meet, we go shut down everywhere when I come”.

The Nigerian striker was also awarded with an honorary citizenship by the city of Leverkusen alongside his Bayer Leverkusen teammates, including fellow Nigerian football star Nathan Tella.

Bodø/Glimt

Victor Okoh Boniface who started with Lagos-based football academy, Real Saphphire began his journey to prominence when in 2019 he signed for a remote Norwegian side, Bodø/Glimt.

He suffered a ligament injury only two weeks after signing for Glimt, which was said to have kept him on the sidelines for the duration of the 2019 season. He was selected to the Nigeria U-20 squad to play the 2019 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations, but had to withdraw from the squad due to injury. In September 2019 he nonetheless made his league debut for the club.

Union SG

In 2022, Boniface signed a four-year contract with Belgian side Union Saint-Gilloise. Union reached the quarter-finals of the 2022–23 Europa League. The Nigerian youngster scored six goals in the competition, including a brace against Union Berlin in the round of 16, finishing as the competition’s joint top scorer along with Marcus Rashford.

Bayer Leverkusen

In 2023, Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen snapped him up on a 5-year contract that will last until 2028. He made his Bundesliga debut on 19 August, in a 3–2 home victory over RB Leipzig. The following week, he scored his first Bundesliga goals by netting a brace at the Borussia Park in a 3–0 away derby win against Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Hard work, high productivity and discipline attracted national team coach Jose Peseiro to the young Nigerian who was painting German Bundesliga red with goals. Boniface made his debut for the Nigeria senior team on 10 September 2023, coming on in the 64th minute for Taiwo Awoniyi. He provided an assist in that match to Samuel Chukwueze. He was named in the Nigerian squad for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in the Ivory Coast. However, he was forced to withdraw from the AFCON-bound national team when he sustained a muscle injury. He was replaced by Terem Moffi.

Style of play

Boniface is known for his distinctive style of play. His playing characteristics include strengths in dribbling, finishing, and headed attempts, while his weaknesses lie in offside awareness, holding onto the ball, and defensive contribution.

He is described as a player who likes to dribble, likes to do layoffs, and likes to play long balls. These attributes contribute to his effectiveness as a forward on the field.

His background, including learning to play football in a military barracks in Nigeria, adds an interesting dimension to his journey as a footballer.

Overall, Victor Boniface’s style of play is characterized by his technical abilities, goal-scoring prowess, and unique playing preferences, making him a player to watch in the world of football.

 

Author

Continue Reading

Trending