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Awoniyi,  Chukwueze,  Nwakali Arrive U-23 Eagles Camp For Libya Clash

Awoniyi,  Chukwueze,  Nwakali Arrive U-23 Eagles Camp For Libya Clash

The trio  of Taiwo Awoniyi,  Samuel Chukwueze, and  Kelechi Nwakali have linked up the U-23 Eagles in Tunis ahead of Wednesday’s Africa U -23 Cup of Nations qualifying fixture against Libya,  reports Completesports.com.

Caykur Rizespor of Turkey midfielder, Azubuike Okechukwu who  was vice-captain of the previous U-23 team that came third at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and Club Brugge of Belgium forward Dennis Blessed Bonaventure have also joined  the team.

The trio of Spezia of Italy forward David Okereke,  Kingsley Michael and Orji Okonkwo will join the team on Tuesday.

The team will have their last  training session before the game on Tuesday afternoon at the Bengerdan Stadium, venue of the game.

15 players and their  officials left the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport,  Abuja abroad Air Maroc on Monday morning for the game.

“The U23 team have arrived in Tunis. Foreign pros that have joined includes: Kelechi Nwakali, Samuel Chukwueze, Azubuike Okechukwu, Dennis Bonaventure and Taiwo Awoniyi. Expected tomorrow are: David Okereke, Kingsley Michael and Orji Okonkwo. They train tomorrow at 4pm,”reads a tweet on the official Twitter handle of the Nigeria Football Federation on Monday.

Libya is still unable to play international matches at home due to the after-effects of the ArabSpring political turmoil that began in 2011.

The reverse fixture will come up at the Stephen Keshi Stadium,  Asaba on Tuesday March 26.

The U-23 Eagles are  the defending champions of the Africa U23 Cup of Nations.

Africa’s flag-bearers in the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament of Tokyo 2020 will emerge during the 3rd Africa U23 Cup of Nations to hold in Egypt in November this year.

By Adeboye Amosu

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  • greenturf 2 years ago

    They barely trained together for this game though we are hoping their huge experience makes the difference notwithstanding.
    Meanwhile,Imama shouldn’t be too reliant on the Foreign based players because the playoffs in Egypt should they qualify is not in the FIFA windows or off season so he should avoid what happened to Eguavoen during the London 2012 Olympic qualifiers to repeat.
    Sad experience indeed.Eguavoen who was reliant on Foreign based in the early stages of the qualifiers couldn’t secure their release for the playoffs tournament and suffered defeats in his first and second games with a very poor home based team but won his final game against Algeria with a hat trick from one of his wards Raheem Lawal.

  • Chima E Samuels 2 years ago

    Who else feels if given more time the U23 will beat Rohr eleven hahahaha???

    • Dr. Drey 2 years ago

      Maybe they should test their might against AFCON defending champions Cameroon, former chanpions Zambia and Star-studded Algeria first before even thinking of playing “Rohr’s Eleven”

      • Peterside Udah 2 years ago

        This under23 will defeat Cameroon, Algeria, and Egypt flat out.
        Better mind yourself.

    • Pompei 2 years ago

      The only reason a good number of them are not in the senior camp is because of this Libya game. It won’t surprise me if some of these boys end up on the plane to Afcon.

    • Dr. Drey 2 years ago

      Sho ya face bros…. abi shame dey catch you…? Come and repeat what you said again. LMAO

  • hanif 2 years ago

    Dr Drey u are spot on..

    bcos dey are upcoming stars now u wnt to rubbish a team dat beat Argentina 4-3 and almost send d world best and his country packing At d world cup?

    well Rohrs team is my team Dream team is my choice too..

    I support everytin Naija ..

  • Frank Felix 2 years ago

    Drey you are always talking like some old illiterate after qualifying what did Rohr achieve Ewu!

    • @Frank Felix thank you bros. A player like Samuel Chukwueze will be on the plane because for me he is Nigeria’s X factor player at present along with Henry Onyekuru. These two will be the biggest African exports alongside Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah. Case rested

    • Dr. Drey 2 years ago

      Hahahahah….young braniac. Its like you forgot your sense inside your bedside drawer this morning. Otherwise, you would know that even old illiterates can be full of wisdom many times. An african adage says that what an old man can see while lying on his mat, a young man cannot see it even with a telescope. Just to inform your empty brains a little, after Rohr qualified for the World cup, unbeaten with a game to spare, in a group that contained 3 winners of the last 4 afcons, (just in less that 18 months of taking charge) he went on to the world cup, won a game and was 4 mins away from expelling a Messi led argentina from the WC (i dont want to talk about the VAR conspiracy) and equaling the record it took westerhoff (of our best generation ever) 5 years – 60 months – to achieve….albeit Westerhoff won just 2 games. He has again qualified us for the same afcon we havent qualified for in 6 years, with a game to spare yet again – no coach has ever done such back to back in the history of Nigerian football. Yet he has spent just a little over 2 years in charge. So if i may answer your question….after qualifying, he qualified for another one again, to show you that the first wasn’t a fluke. If e too pain you go and hang yasef.

  • Gritty 2 years ago

    #Dr Drey, in one phrase;”You are not civilised”. Stop ranting and Spewing trash. Mr Rhor benched Iwobi in Argentina Match and met his waterloo (Hope he did not intentionally sabotage the team…). Recall Iwobi’s exploits in the int’l friendly against Argentina before the world cup.
    Mr G.Rhor should improve on His choice of team selection, tactics and substitutions.
    Mr Coach adhere to professional advise especially from our ex-internationals like Jay Jay, Papilo, Ikpeba, et al. They know the Nigeria terrain more than you do. You don’t know it all sir. Best of Luck Super Eagles!!!

    • Dr. Drey 2 years ago

      Hahahaha….mr civilized man. I can see your civilization is the medevial stone age type. Otherwise you would also have recalled that not only iwobi performed exploits in that friendly, over 13 other player did, and they all also featured in that fateful match at the world cup, where the only difference between both matches was the presence of the greatest player of all times on the side of the argentines. So if the exploits of the rest didn’t save the team, was it that of only one person that would have.. ..? Anyway I do not fault you. You’ve only spoken within the limits of what your IQ has to offer. If only Mr victor ‘primadonna’moses had given his 100% to stop Marcos rojo from having an unchallenged shot at goal with barely 4mins remaining to being in d round of 16, you wouldn’t be here telling us who is civilized or not

  • Sunnyb 2 years ago

    @Gritty thanks bro, that’ was the day I lost faith completely on Rohr starting iheanacho  against Argentina. That was the game of our life the Julius Berger coach decided to toy with our emotions and Gamble that game away.How do u explain that as coach starting clueless iheanacho.

    • Ayphillydegreat 2 years ago

      Are you not the same person who called Iwobi a mediocre player before the WorldCup??? You of all people should not even be talking about Iwobi inclusion or non inclusion in the Argentina game. A match we we’re completely robbed. 

    • Dr. Drey 2 years ago

      See how God take dey catch enemies of progress. See them contradicting themselves. One is critsizing the coach for not starting a player that performed exploits in the friendly, the other is criticizing the coach for starting another player who performed exploits in the same match…. Lmao. That is how all our enemies will continue to sing disconcordant tunes by God’s grace

  • Gideon S 2 years ago

    Plz, which station is showing 9ja, Libya match and what time?

    From Accra.

  • Sammy01 2 years ago

    15mins gone, Libya leading by a lone goal…

  • You people are busy fighting.

    Libya don score oh: Libya 1-0 Nigeria first 6 minutes

  • Nigeria is down to 10 men, losing 0-1 by half time. Only 1 shot on goal.


  • Jones 2 years ago

    Akpeyi-like keeper catching ball outside the box. Comedy

  • Greenturf 2 years ago

    Nigeria losing by 2goals to nil ridiculous!

  • greenturf 2 years ago

    final scoreline Libya 2 Nigeria 0

    • when they play the second leg, nigeria will have the upper hand b’cos of home advantage.

      • Ah Oga deo, please don’t talk like that. The homeground matters little to a sound team. The team looks good enough on paper, but I don’t think Imama is the man for this job.

        Losing 0-2 to Libya? Unbelievable! Didn’t the SE beat this same Libya 3-2 at home? It’s the coach. I don’t think he can harness these collection of talents very well.

      • But seriously, this is shocking stuff 🙁

        A collection of some of the presumably better (some would say best) young players in Nigeria.

        They better have the ‘upper hand of home advantage’ in the second leg or else, it’s curtains…….

        • pompei 2 years ago

          I am shell shocked. It’s not over though. All to play for in the return leg.

  • Empire 2 years ago

    Nigeria  U23 is at the verge of missing Japan 2020 olympics … By the way, we have never got it right with any Ghanaian official in the game of soccer…

  • onwajunior 2 years ago

    It is over…lol

  • onwajunior 2 years ago

    Abeg, shebi Iwobi and Awaziem are u23. This one that defence and midfield are shaky. They better draft these players, bcos e go hard.

  • Bomboy 2 years ago

    If these boys cannot prove themselves in the U23 squad, please nobody should mention their names again as SE potential.

    I am gutted.

  • greenturf 2 years ago

    Siasia is good with the Olympics i think Imama is inexperienced in this job.He failed to raise a good home based team as a base.Too much reliant on foreign based professionals in the first leg when he knew the game is on a Wednesday which affords the team little time for blending.In this situation the home based players with proper blending should have prosecuted the first leg then the professionals should be involved where necessary in the second leg where more training days are afforded.
    As it stands now we would be having a very difficult second leg at least you expect Nigeria to have scored one goal with the collection of star players involved against Libya who aren’t even playing at home.I think the coaching crew for the under 23 have disappointed fans in the first leg though its too early to judge them.
    However,lets see what this team can do with a few days of blending though the scoreline is not irreversible we wait and see how they respond to this big upset by Libya.

  • In recent years, the winning formula to prosecute u-20 and u-23 Afcon qualifier has been one rooted in the predominant use of homebased players at its core.

    Foreign based pros have often been blooded in slowly (and in the tournament proper after they have had some camping time with which to develop some sort of cohesion and understanding).

    You can criticise the quality of the domestic league for all you can however I still strongly believe that we have capable home-based players to successfully prosecute Afcon u-20 and u-23 qualifiers and tournaments.

    Where does Amakapabo go from here?

    I recommend the following:

    -identify foreign based pros who brought nothing to this match (regardless of their status) and have the courage to drop these in the second leg.

    -obsessively watch footage of this match to see where he can exploit weaknesses in Lybia’s game.

    -practice crosses across the pitch (high and low) from all directions. These may well cause Libya problems as they will ordinarily want to stifle a direct assault from the middle (when Argentina needed a goal against us badly in Russia, they started whacking the crosses in).

    -be prepared to use all his substitutions.

    -ask his strikers to go down in the box 18 at the slightest touch.

    -retain possession.

    – practice corner kick routines.

    The battle is not OVER. Imama has an opportunity in the second half to prove his mettle as a coach who can turn a difficult situation around.

    • Using home based players in previous years was a viable option owing to the league being competitive. This year the players are not “seasoned pros”.

      Most of them barely have 3 months of league time in the past year. We have seen how Rangers and Lobi cannot compete with the best on the continent recently. We also see how jittery the local lads were yesterday.

      The league being stopped for most of last year is showing the effects now. We cannot send “half baked teams and players to represent us.

      Most of the clubs hurriedly recruited between 10 and 15 players in December and started playing football in January. We sent them out to compete against teams that have been playing together for months and expect miracles. The coaches barely know their best 11 yet. This is the same that happened yesterday. We brought in 11 players to add to the squad (for whatever reason) with some turning up the day before the match and not having time to train and expect team cohesion and tactics.

      I expected a narrow defeat or at best a draw and that’s what we got. Hopefully on Monday we will see better what this team can do

      • Yet, Aigbogun used homebased Under-20 to qualify for Afcon and to qualify for the World Cup in May.

        Yeah right……

        • True, but then he filled the squad with “non league” local players. He went to the academies to hunt out Oremade and others to fill the positions as the league had not started by December when the WAFU tournament was held. He then buttressed the team for AFCON proper with “foreign pros” Igho Ogbu (Rosenborg), Afeez Aremu (IK Start) etc in order to prosecute the world cup qualification campaign.

          Less that half of the squad hat qualified for AFCON and the world cup were local league players.

          It seems at this time the academy players are doing better than league players with the national age group set ups. Do they have an academy league, or is it cup tournaments that they play organized amongst themselves??

          • 14 out of the 21 players registered for the under-20 Afcon were full fledged NPFL players. That is more than half.

            In fact, only 4 – a drop in the ocean – were foreign based.

            Mercifully, the league had resumed prior to the match against Libya.

            In short, Predominantly homebased players should be used to prosecute this matches at this stage, full stop.

          • Ozornwafor although a player for Eyinba has not featured for them in a competitive match this season and recently promoted from their youth team, Oremade signed for Kwara United subsequently but was registered with Oasis fc so these two at least are not “full fledged NPFL players”. Many of them have played more for the National teams than they have for their clubs. Akpan Udoh (unattached) last played in Isreal.

            I counted one league GK, three league defenders, 2 league midfielders and 4 attackers that were NPFL players, but much the same, the academy players are still local lads. By the time they are 21 or 23 they will usually have joined a club either home or away.

            Fingers crossed for Monday and hoping they can get the job done. All that is required is for the squad to live up to their potential. There is plenty of star quality in there.

  • Sunnyb 2 years ago

    This the time people will appreciate Siaone, Siaone prosecuted the last Olympic qualifying with predominantly home based players with tougher opponents Congo and Zambia. the likes of  Segun Oduduwa, Etebo, Ajayi,Azubuike  and Usman were the stars of that team. These Yeye lazy Imama I’m afraid Nigeria might not qualify.

  • We all need to calm down a little. This is a team that only had one day to prepare for the match. 

    Let’s loom at the problems:

    1. Imama called 35 home based players to camp in February, by the beginning of March the NFF sent half the squad away because they were either too old or had multiple ages. They had to scramble replacements with a week to go
    2. They called up 11 pros from across the globe and decided that They can join up in Tunisia straight from their clubs.
    3. The international break started on Sunday and the match was on Wednesday. Players were still turning up on Tuesday because of flight schedules
    4. Some of those training in Abuja couldn’t get visa on time
    5.The team only had one day to train properly for an international match. That is not enough for an international match at any level.  Contrast with the Super Eagles that had assembled on Tuesday for match on Friday. And the Libya squad who have been training for weeks
    6. Many of the players have never seen others in the flesh talk less playing with them before. I got the impression that some of the local lads were even star struck 
    7. Playing the second half with 10 men we dominated them and should have reduced the tally, we had more shots on goal than them in the second half for instance
    8. The second leg we will probably see Okonkwo (arrived on Tuesday) added to the team and they will have trained for 4 days. 

    We can over turn this. Even if we brought Okocha in his heyday, we would still have struggled with the preparation. We cannot just assemble a team a day or two to a tournament and expect talent alone will see us through.

  • Sunnyb 2 years ago

    Bribe for play coach Imama thank you for fielding Adamu  that goalkeeper was panicking, shaking before he was removed, how did that guy got the nod of better keepers in Nigeria?

  • hanif 2 years ago

    bigD ,, u mean okocha in his prime playing against a Libya team and we will lose bcos dey had 2days to prepare???

    we lost we lost I blame nobody but d coach ,,
    I am so sure of myself dat Sia1 wud av run hazard on libya if he is to b d coach blessed wit dis massive talent.

    I don’t see him performing wonder in d second leg ..

    but I wish my team best of luck.

    I pray we get lucky and qualify

    • Jones 2 years ago

      Where does the great Siasia coach currently ?

      • Brutus 'the barber' Beefcake 2 years ago

        Sia1 is far better than Rohr. He is a world class pundit. He is waiting for the right opportunity to coach a country in Europe.

      • Brutus 'the barber' Beefcake 2 years ago

        Siasia is better than Rohr any day of the week.
        Sia1 is waiting to coach a European team. He is d best pundit.

        • Jones 2 years ago

          Word class pundit for which international media company ?

        • Jones 2 years ago

          Oliseh was also a very good pundit. Besides Siasia has not been able to get a job in Nigeria in the last 3 years is it now in Europe he would get one. My friend you are deluded.

    • Dr. Drey 2 years ago

      Oga, with okocha in his prime, we lost to the likes of Liberia and Namibia, drew the likes of Congo and Eritrea . So don’t be mistaken that we were invincible when okocha was in his prime. A tree doesn’t make a forest. I’ve said it many times, sometimes we just think we should steam roll everyone just because we are Nigeria. God is not a God of injustice. 11 okochas coached by pep guadiola wouldn’t have steam rolled another team who have been in camp for a month with players who are just playing together for the first time after 2 training sessions. The coach’s over reliance on foreign based players I think was Wat came back to haunt us. It’s a lesson we should take with us into the future

  • Bomboy 2 years ago

    We will overturn this in the 2nd leg. I am very sure of it.

    On another note, where are those who were saying this team had better quality and would beat Coach Rohr’s Eagles? They have gone silent.

  • greenturf 2 years ago

    Someone said we beat them 5nil haha!

  • Peterside Idah 2 years ago

    This is just an unfortunate result. This boys will beat Rohr’s boys silly.

    • Dr. Drey 2 years ago

      LMAO. Let them beat their mates first.

    • @peterside…pastor sir I’m disappointed at ur above assertion being an ex-supereagle urself… I believe in the talents in this squad to qualify by God’s Grace, but beating Rhor’s SE silly is insulting to say the least

  • Ayphillydegreat 2 years ago

    We played really well in the second half with 10 men. We missed a lot of chances. With the way we dominated them in the second half we have a chance to overturn the deficit in the second leg. 

    People took Libya for granted, they all play domestically and have played in the CHAN tournaments together. Don’t forget Libya recently won the CHAN in 2014. We lack the killer instinct in the final third with Awoniyi missing a glorious opportunity and Chukwueze though menacing, but couldn’t deliver the final balls. The defense is very  porous, they need to tighten up at the back. 

    Now we have it all to do in the return leg. We have enough talents in this team to overturn the result with more time together and a sense of urgency because it will be a huge confidence drop for these lads. It will be difficult against this Libyan team, but it’s achievable. 

  • Dr. Drey 2 years ago

    Pls where are those village people that come here to brag about living in Europe and being neighbours with pep guadiola….those ones that claim to be the only ones that know football…. I mean the ones who said this team will best Cameron, Algeria and Zambia flat…?

  • Dr. Drey 2 years ago

    This match is 2 legged, yes we may he down st the moment but certainly not out. We tried our best but obviously football is a team game and not a game of a just XI players. The 4 weeks camping of the Libyans for this game really showed on the pitch. A 2 goal 1st leg deficit is very much possible to overturn. Our team just needs more time to become a TEAM before the return leg. That’s why I always laugh hard when some people clamour for invitation of as many new players as possible into the national team, I can but ask if these people think real life coaching is like playing Sega or Nintendo

  • Questions for the second leg of the under 23s on Monday.

    Is Nwakali overrated? He Did not step up. 

    Is Oremade the only youth keeper we have? We risk burn out. 

    Is it time for the Bologna duo of Kingsley Michael and Orji Okonkwo? 

    Can we add SE players to the squad? Awaziem, Ikouwem, Onyekuru? 

    Can we score 3 unreplied goals?

    The weakest area of the team yesterday was the goalkeeper and defense. Ironically, those were the local lads. They were jittery and or showed, could they do with at least one experienced person to take charge in there.

    The weakest link in the middle of the park was Kelechi Nwakali. He has not covered himself in glory and surely a player already in the camp, Kingsley Michael who is playing at a higher level can do better. He wasn’t played yesterday owing to arriving late to camp and not training with the team.

    Up front should see more cohesion next game but is it premature to call for Henry Onyekuru to take charge of the attack and assist Awoniyi? Or even David Okereke already in the squad to replace Olabiran in the starting line up. Orji Okonkwo can also assist (another late comer to the camp)

    • The weakest link yesterday was not necessarily the home-based dominated defence but rather the inability of the overhyped foreign-based players to string together positive moves that should have led to credible goal scoring opportunities.

      I read how Awoniyi, the next Yekini in the eyes of some, fluffed at least one chance that you would have expected a player of his calibre to put away; a chance that would have led to an invaluable away-goal which would have altered the dynamics and complexion of the second leg.

      Asking for Super Eagles under 23 players to be drafted into this squad risks a sort of embarrassing outcome never before seen in a home tie for any Nigeria team in my humble opinion.

      The reason I say this is because I am unsure of the mentality to which these players (who have not been involved at all until then) will approach the match. If they fail, you have already provided a ready-made excuse for them which is: we were drafted in at short notice to work with a team and coach that were not used to. What did you expect, a miracle? It doesn’t work that way.

      I don’t think a wholesale change of personnel required. Rather, Imama should go back to the drawing board to identify where he got his TACTICS, STRATEGY, FORMATION, APPROACH and DIRECTIONS wrong.

      The boys he has on camp, with the lessons from the 1st leg, are well capable to push Libya all the way in Nigeria.

      They may qualify ; they may not qualify, but they can definitely defeat Libya in Nigeria.

      It may sadly come down to the away-goal that Awoniyi should have buried.

      • Yes, I was thinking out loud. The Awoniyi fluffed chance from a Chukwueze corner could cost us dearly. And yes the squad “should have enough quality”. I guess the 48 hour preparation for an international match against a squad that have been training together for weeks and coached by their senior national team coach will never be enough at any level.

        I guess na frustration at the result that was expected anyway.

        You can watch the match on youtube, however, the footage is diabolical with only one camera covering the match and hard to make out whom is whom. One link below


  • @peterside…pastor sir I’m disappointed at ur above assertion being an ex-supereagle urself… I believe in the talents in this squad to qualify by God’s Grace, but beating Rhor’s SE silly is insulting to say the least

    Finally to my mind I’ll relish having the following around to beef up the squad
    Alampasu,(should be #1 in this team)
    Musa Mohammed(should be V.captain)
    Ikouwen utin
    Chidi nwankali(brings out the best in his sibling)
    Ifeanyi Matthew
    Ifeanyi ifeanyi
    Henry Onyekuru
    Sadiq Umar
    Musa yahaya
    Victor Osimhen

    Ideally itz the time of the GE Class of 2013 to the dream team in a normal progression trajectory

    My 2cents!
    Peace y’all

    • Peterside Udah 2 years ago

      Forgive them father for they know not what they say.
      Verily verily I say unto you,this Dream Team whatever will beat Rohr’s so called Eagles.
      I have said my own o.
      If care is not taken, even Seychelles will beat Super Eagles with 3 goals.