HomeNigeria National Teams

Okoye, Akpoguma, Musa, Osimhen Start For Super Eagles Vs Sierra Leone

Okoye, Akpoguma, Musa,  Osimhen Start For Super Eagles  Vs Sierra Leone

Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr has named Maduka Okoye and Kevin Akpoguma in his starting line-up for today’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying fixture against Sierra Leone, reports Completesports.com.

Okoye and Akpoguma will make their home debut against the Leone Stars.

Rohr picked Akpoguma ahead of Tyronne Ebuehi and Ola Aina for the game.

Zaidu Sanusi will occupy the left-back position while Leon Balogun and William Troost-Ekong will be the two centre-backs.

Read Also: 2021 AFCON Qualifier: Super Eagles Players Test Negative For Covid-19 

Oghenekaro Etebo and Joe Aribo will be the two defensive midfielders with Alex Iwobi
playing in a more advanced role.

Ahmed Musa and Samuel Chukwueze will play on the wings with Victor Osimhen leading the attack.

Super Eagles X1 Vs Sierra Leone
Maduka Okoye , Zaidu Sanusi, Kevin Akpoguma, William Troost -Ekong, Leon Balogun, Peter Etebo, Joe Aribo , Samuel Chukwueze, Alex Iwobi, Ahmed Musa, Victor Osimhen

By Adeboye Amosu, in Benin City

Copyright © 2024 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.


  • Empire 4 years ago

    Not a bad line up though….. go super eagles !!!

  • I hope Tyrone (or Aina) Osigwe and Ejuke are subbed on at some point with enough playing time.

    Meanwhile, I knew despite arriving much earlier than Osimhen, Rohr will not start Kelechi ahead of the Napoli man. He doesn’t trust Iheanacho’s level of impact as a lead or even supporting striker yet – and you can’t really blame him. We could have beaten Tunisia in that friendly.


    • Salihu Musa 4 years ago


  • Akpoguma is not a natural full-back, why bench Aina and Ebuehi, who are natural full backs for a traditional centre back. I guess he wants to cap Akpoguma sha. 

  • My observations:

    Great line up, here is what I think Rohr is communicating with it.

    – Akpoguma: Although a centre defender by trade, Rohr is telling him to look beyond that role is he is to have a realistic chance with the Super Eagles. Just like Awaziem, Akpoguma would have to prove his mettle has a full back or he could see his Super Eagles chances erode.

    – Okoye: get it right on these 2 encounters and have regular playing time in Holland and the Super Eagles number one shirt might just be his for keeps!

    – Ekong and Balogun : if both are available and fit, they will start. The Oyinbo wall has been revamped and rebuilt.

    – Sanusi : he is now truly ahead of Collins (and perhaps Aina too) in the pecking order of Super Eagles left fullback.

    – Etebo : should be expected to start when Ndidi is not available.

    – Ahmed Musa: conversations around his relevance to the team and justification for this call up (among fans) are set to continue.

    – Chukwueze : he is now Rohr’s first choice right back.

    – Iheanacho : is below Osimhen in the Super Eagles pecking order.

    The Super Eagles: it is a strong team on paper. In the field of play, they need to (re-) start punching above their weight like in the earlier periods of Rohr’s reign.

    The fans: enjoy the match! 🙂

    • This is so bang on! I wish I could like this analysis 10 times. You seem to have clearly captured Rohr’s mind like an advanced canon digital camera.

    • Oil dey your head @Deo, Choi… This analysis sweet me die… Anyways, we have a good line up for the match, let’s hope the boiz show up to the party… Shikena

    • MAJOR FLEX 4 years ago

      Warrisdiswonsayin, chukwueze right back?

  • MrStreamZ 4 years ago

    Musa is not in form..okoye our new no.1 after Vincent Enyeama…NGR1 vs 0..defender to score by heading

  • Greenturf 4 years ago

    Six of our starting 11 are foreign born wow!shows where most of our recruitment this days has the most impact.

    I feel sorry for Tyrone Ebuehi and Aina both vying for same position as Apoguma this pair have played so well this season and are in good shape.

  • Collins id 4 years ago

    nice line up except for the inclusion of akpoguma as right back, I will consider it as favouritism in the part of Rohr, bcos aina deserves is shirt if fit, and if not ebueyi and awaziem should be nest options, playing akpoguma will affect chukueze, their combinations will be very challenging, first akpoguma is not a natural wingback, his club agent fault rohr for that decision in our last game. secondly he is new to the team. I hope that wing will not become our Achilles hill in todays match. anyways it’s not enough for us not to trash sierra leone. 4 0 is my prediction. up eagles.

  • Omo9ja 4 years ago

    Don’t blame Akpoguma if he failed to perform. Akpoguma’s agent warned Mr. Gernot Rohr that if you don’t play Akpoguma in his natural position, he’s going to remain average player forever in Nigeria colour. Now, the gaffer didn’t listen.

    Why converting players when you have natural players in that position?

    Coach Rohr followers over to you all. This is the only issue I’m having with the gaffer. “Tactics”. Why benching Ebuehi and Aina for Akpoguma?

    I have said it before and I’m going to say that again. Mr. Rohr will continue having fantastic players but to build an amazing team for Nigeria may be an issue.

    I’m tired of this. God bless Nigeria!!

    • You make a good point @Omo9ja. Akpoguma clearly struggled in that WB position in that last friendly, which is a sharp contrast to the flair and panache of Ebuehi in that same position. This could break up the rhythm of play for the boys upfront. It’s strange why Rohr doesn’t want to drop any of Ekong or Balogun in that CB position to make way for Akpoguma and let’s see him at his best in his natural position. I have a feeling he’ll be more solid than Ekong in that role.

      Nice lineup, except I would rather swap Akpohuma for Ebuehi and Musa for Ejuke (Musa can be subbed on later or vice versa). Also, I’ll ensure to give Aina adequate playing time today and also maybe make sure to see Dennis on the pitch today too.

      • Omo9ja 4 years ago

        @Kel, thanks for your analysis.

        Kel baba, mark my words, Oga have divided the team already by doing this to Ola Aina/Ebuehi.

        Why convincing a player to play for Nigeria when you know that you can’t bench the one you already have?

        It is clear that the player make it known to the gaffer that for him to considered Nigeria over Germany, he have to play in every match with the national team of Nigeria and I think coach Rohr have promised Akpoguma that no matter
        what, he is going to play.

        If you want to cap tie Akpoguma as a coach, you can do so towards the end of the match by replacing Ekong with Akpoguma.

        What Oga Rohr did today shows that Super Eagles is bigger than the coach. You have to be in control of your team no matter what.

        As a coach, you don’t experiments during the qualifiers. You have to be more serious than never before when you about to qualify to a tournament.

        Some of my colleagues are making unexcuse for Oga Rohr based on Akpoguma unfamiliar RB position but I have no choice rather than shaking my head.

        Well, what do I know.
        Anyway, all the best Super Eagles. Ire o. God bless Nigeria!!!

    • Larry 4 years ago

      Honestly, I don’t know why NFF is still keeping this coach

  • Samuel 4 years ago

    I wish our SUPER EAGLES victory this evening.

  • Samuel 4 years ago

    I wish Super Eagles victory this evening.

  • Larry 4 years ago

    Why is Gernot Rohr playing Apokguma as a right back when we have natural right backs.He played it against Algeria, he didn’t play it well,and you’re still using him on that same position. This coach should stop performing experiment with our national team.

  • Olusegun.B. 4 years ago

    Akpopuma as a right back is not ideal for the team . He’s a central defender . And what Rohr is doing is like experimenting where we all know that it’s not the time to do so .AINA and Ebuehi have been consistent for the team through their club side .

    Still Rohr has players in his arsenal but is doing things kinda akward. I wish SE the best and hope they win.

  • ChrisB 4 years ago

    I feel Rohr might be angling to play a 3-5-2 with the three central defenders at some point in the match, allowing Zaidu to make more marauding runs and support the Eagles attack.Up Eagles!!!

    • Nonso Aniagu 4 years ago


    • Kenny 4 years ago

      Awesome! Clearly you saw this. I thought as much too. That will be fine then seeing Zaidu is one that you find always very close to the opponent box 18 at his club porto.

  • Larry 4 years ago

    Why start Akpoguma as RB, when you have Aina/Ebuehi.. Akpoguma is a CB and should be competing with Ekong. Is this an attempt to knock out Akpoguma from SE. No one should blame the lad if he doesn’t meet expectation in the match.Perhaps, he is better than Ekong in tha CB role. Balogun/Akpoguma pairing is the best combination but the coach is hell bent on starting Ekong.
    What is the future of Aina/Ebuehi with SE. These are regulars in their clubsides and the best RB in SE.

  • Emmanuel 4 years ago

    Great reasoning @chrisB, we should just leave the Coach alone,he’s the owner of his team he sinks and float with his selections.

  • Chima E Samuels 4 years ago

    Stop playing Kelvin at RB when we have an inform Ola or Tryonne. This coach needs proper advice because any speedy lw will out play kelvin. Use Kelvin as back up to ekong or Balogun let the inform two Start and bring in a fresh one when anyone weakens at 2nd half.

    Musa is the captain of the team if he doesn’t perform well bring in Ejuke.

    Kelechi Iheanacho can come in to pair Osimhen in the second half to create more openings in the attack as double pivot Frontline.

    Sanusi at lb is a great decision thumps up to the coach for that decision but let him work on his choice of RB except if he is playing 3 center defenders. Goodluck to us #Team9ja strong

  • De Star 4 years ago

    Sport on @deo,@Kel ; @Colins.id and @Omo9ja , calm down , this is the only match Oga Rohr can experiment Akpohuma apart from his sentiment to the player he brought in . It is when playing with great team like Algeria you expect Rohr to be extra caution , not against Sieera Leone .
    To me the team the selected players are good to go , Na basket ball ⚽️ we go play today 

  • Proudly 9ja 4 years ago

    I think the rationale in playing Akpoguma ahead of Aina, Ebuehi, and Awaziem is 2 folds.
    1. To officially cap tie him so we don’t have to worry about him changing his mind when Germany comes calling if he start overperforming for hoffeiheim. Remember how nervous we got when Lookman starting playing well and rumoor that Northgate might prevent his switch from happening. Captying Akpoguma guarantees that won’t happen.

    2. The Sierra Leone players are big and strong, they might bully Ebuehi and Aina. He needed someone physical and strong to cope with them. In one of his interviews he mentioned the physical nature of the players from Sierra Leone. So I think it makes sense. We know GR is a very cautious coach.

    3. He has played the RB role b4, I blif if am not mistaken that he played there when we met Germany in the u21 and most likely has played there for his club too. Awaziem remember is a CB for all his clubsides but plays RB for the SE, so there is no difference here other than the fact that Awaziem has played in that position more in the eagles.

    4. Like someone said the formation can be fluid and changed to a 3 at the back with Sanusi tucking in the middle to help Etebo and Aribo allowing Aribo and Iwobi to push up when needed while still being able to support the attack from the left when we are attacking.

    Air Nigeria we dey look u ooo lol
    Just my take.

  • In the case of AKPOGUMA occupying RB in this very match, i think Rohr & NFF want to rush & cap tie him bcos we don’t know the outcome of this encounter which may make it impossible for Rohr to gamble with in the reverse fixture.

    And Rohr don’t want to throw him into the CB position when he’s yet to prove himself against any hard tackling west african nation.

    I think this match would pave way for him in subsequent games.

    As of IHEANACHO;
    If I were him, instead of fighting for 9 or 8; i would rather go back to my U17 position where CHUKWUEZE is deputizing presently.

    Why not go back to where u started & enjoy ur game both at club & country?

    A striker & a supporting striker must be a type that has composure & stamina when he’s on ball. Not a type that is prone to falling like duck fowl.

    He’s gradually killing his game.

    Iheanacho has vision & knows how to lay pass as he use to do at U17, as oppost to CHUKWUEZE that is known for direct run, cut-in & shoot which sometimes doesn’t work like against ALGERIA.

    My humble submission though….

  • Kingston 4 years ago

    my analysis :
    personally speaking, I’m not too impress. super eagles will win the match, I hope so. but I have my reservations about this lineup. the Leone stars are likely to play deep defensive game in order to salvage a point at least. common sense will tell anyone that it is almost impossible for Sierra Leone to match super eagles strength to strength. the best thing to do would be to defend all through 90 mins and get a point. that’s better than nothing.

    these are my reasons for doubting the winning potential of this lineup :
    1. “Alex Iwobi and Victor Osimhen are the two Nigerian players the coach (Keister) believe will be a big threat to us,” and “1st it was the Brazilian technical crew who identified him as the pivot of the team, then Lesotho coach, now its the Sierra Leone coach”.
    this is quite obvious. it is very likely that Sierra Leone would go on the defensive. and if you haven’t noticed, super eagles is subconsciously building around iwobi. our attacking power largely depends on him. this can have negative impact simply because iwobi is not messi. against tunisia friendly, iwobi instigated 60% of the chances. even at afcon, one of the reason it looked like Nigeria played with defensive set-up is because of the average form of iwobi in that tournament. regardless of that, iwobi still had the highest number of key passes in the tournament. this alone proves how dependent super eagles are on his playmaking skills. here comes the bad news : it is very likely that the Sierra Leone coach would park the bus, limit movement and space in their own final third, and mostly importantly will be to man mark iwobi. if Sierra Leone can assign two no4 against iwobi, then there’s a big problem. it is likely he will fizzle out of the match. just like ndidi and etebo marked keita at afcon (though etebo played no8). and you can’t deny that keita has quality. if Sierra Leone double mark iwobi, it will means that key passes will stop coming, which means that osimhen will stop receiving balls, which means lack of goals.

    2. “the size of the playing turf which is also not suitable for the type of wing-play the super eagles adopt considering the kind of wingers we have presently who love to run with the ball”.
    how true. our wingers excell on acceleration, without space that advantage is largely brought to a stop. without a large pitch, it is likely the wingers will take up dribbling to create space for themselves. if this is what happens, then what the Sierra Leone coach have to do is simple. gather numbers in front of your box, which will in turn force the wingers to play close to the touch line. when this happens, the fullback and another player (probably the Sierra Leone winger) tackle our wingers off the ball. I mean no insult, but you will agree with me that super eagles wingers are not the most creative set of people. if things go on according to plan, our game play will be very predictable.

    I’m just an analyst. the coach is the better man for the job. but I feel if we start with this lineup Sierra Leone will clip our wings. we may win, but it would be because of our players quality which is way more than that of Sierra Leone. but if our opponent become very discipline in defending, not making silly mistakes, then things won’t be funny.
    anyway, super eagles all the way!

  • emeka 4 years ago

    Having Akpoguma play at right back may be to fully integrate into the team, knowing that playing him in the heart of defence may unsettle his partner- this is dicey for a full international match. I think rohr want to validate his invitation to the national team.

  • Abdul handsy 4 years ago

    For crying out loud Akpoguma is just being introduced to the team then, why playing him out of his original position?

    I love rohr for his conspicuous incorruptible mind of selection method but most at times his line-up left me tongue wagggin mehn!

    For how long are the supers going to be changing soldiers at the RB while we are having about 3capable players to select from. If Aina and ebuehi ain’t good enough for him to start any then he should stop inviting them mehn!

    The message he is sending to this boys is not good for their confidence fa! You have secured them then, train them suit your pattern of play and train them to be rugged and be up the demanding of Africa football.’African guardiola’ has once told ekong that he was not strong enough to play African football but today he has made him eat his words.

    Ebuehi and Aina can always be worked on and they will become physically strong, ready to combat with the so-called west african physically buit players. And by so doing, it will be an added advantage to their acquired technical accomplishments.

    Be it as it may, sierra Leone’s net go chop goal today mehn!

    Congratulations in advance guys!

  • onwajunior 4 years ago

    Goodluck to the Super Eagles. Let’s go get that win today! Personally, I don’t like the idea of Akpoguma as right back (I’m assuming that’s where Rohr want to play him) for two reasons – consistency and morale. In terms of consistency, I don’t think playing players out of position, i.e. different from where they play at their clubs, is the best. He did that with Ndidi initially, before Ndidi claimed back his spot. As for morale, Aina and Ebuehi have been in good forms, if not spectacular forms, for their respective clubs. Ebuehi made team of the week, not sure how many times, while Aina has been excellent for Fulham. He didn’t use Aina in the two friendly matches that we played recently. My sense is that Aina is not in Rohr’s plan, but someone in NFF is imposing him on Rohr. All said, I may be wrong. The coach may be using a different formation – Akpoguma may be part of a back three or even defensive midfield role.

  • D-Cardinal 4 years ago

    Starting akpoguma over ola is not logical at all..why not bench ekong.well am not surprise ..I will say more after the match..musa over ejuke??funny

  • Tancosports 4 years ago

    If either Aina or Ebuehi starts the game it means we will be having just one defensive minded player(ekong) in our team which is not wise enough. Also Chukwueze recovery rate is low hence no one will track down ball at right wing if Aina/ebuehi overlapped to join the attack and All our midfielders are all attacking minded players. That’s why the coach decided to start Akpogouma IMO.

    • Omo9ja 4 years ago

      @Tancosports, you have a very good point here but at the same time, let’s also think about our opposition too. If LB of the Leone star or the player that is going to operate from left flange is very fast and tricky, for sure Akpoguma will be struggling in that position.

      I think the coach would have instructed Aina or Ebuehi to stay back a bit rather than going forward. He, Akpoguma struggled against Algeria if I’m not mistaken.

      You know, every Nigerian is a coach. This is what is making Super Eagles stronger. God bless Nigeria!!!

  • Kingston 4 years ago

    nice point of view @tancosports

  • mutum 4 years ago

    if we concede with this squad against seriee Leon,Rohr should go. if we fail to find d back of d net 4-5 times,rohr has no biz taking this team forward

  • mumitee 4 years ago

    pls where can one stream the match live

  • Ademola Adegbite 4 years ago

    fantastic contribution from @Tancosports. This is what I believe the gaffer is trying to avoid. Aina and Ebuehi are wonderful Right Backs, however, they overlap often. Our Opponents will come and park bus at the back and hope to counter with long balls. We therefore need defenders who will be more defense conscious, in this match. Aina and Ebuehi will have their chances by the grace of God. There is no division in the team, we just need to understand the Coaches game plan. All we need is a victory, and by God’s we shall get it. Whoever, we use to achieve is immaterial, the victory is for the team and for Nigeria.

  • Anyikwanza 4 years ago

    At the last friendly match, it was evident that Ekong is not at his best, and Akpoguna was not too good at wing back, why all this favouritism. Can you imagine centre back between balogun and akpoguna or the guy from west Brom with akpoguna while ebuehi occupy his natural position, who has been in the form of his life recently, why all these gambling and favouritism, it never pays

  • Am hapy with my fellow nigerians in this forum. Omo9ja. De star.lary.kel. God will continue to bless you guys. The problem we have in super eagles is not the players. the problem is the coach. Rohr is not capable to coach nigeria he is kiling our national team. I dont see nigeria wining afcon with rohr.

  • Proudly 9ja 4 years ago

    1st goal by iwobi

  • KING TUOYO 4 years ago

    Am not the coach to choose the players on their different roles or position. Rohr is the man who sees them in training and at close range. Whatever player he picks for any position, he surely knows he is capable to function well.

    But my take here is the use of Akpoguma when we have options on the right full back. There is Ola Aina and Tyrone Ebuehi who currently on top of their game to chose from. Only the Coach can explain to us after the match why he made use of a centre back to play as right full back.

    I can only wish for Akpoguma to have a good game as he makes his home debut today.

    Good luck to Super Eagles.

  • Atleast now we have secured AKPOGUMA, OKOYE from the hands of GERMANY….

    Were are those BLIND HATER?
    FAULT FINDERS? HATERS? & Town cries???


    It does not matter who plays at LB or RB……
    We know OUR OGA….

    This time around; with 2 games to spare…..

    Haters pls crawl out from ur caves and criticise him again ooooooo…..
    After that u pple should cry me a RIVER….

    I come in WAR….

  • I’m still waiting for u pple ooooo….

    Ndi ROHR no de do early substitution…..

    He has fulfiled una wishes…. U pple should crawl out oooo….

    I come in waaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrr

  • Empire 4 years ago

    The worst Nigerian team ever….. it has never happened before….. this is a conspiracy!!! 

  • Ndi Rohr no de do early sub.

    Ndi Musa is out dated…. Immediately the yooung man left the pitch, attack went into oblivion…. Midfield collaps….

    Una wey sabi pass coach, u pple should crawl out and CRY ME A RIVER ooooo

  • @Empire…

    Who cares???

    Who’ll loose???

    Is it ROHR???

    He can be sacked and another african team would still employ him….

    This same thing happen against S.AFRICA in 2017…. After the game Rohr learnt his lesson…..

    We can now see all the talented wingers we have in SE…..

    They came in and did nothing special as usual……

    When a coach refuse to call u it simply means u are not good and cant fit into his style of play ASAP…..

    The team was doing pretty well until the mischievious and crafty new QUOTA contract was signed….

    Who’s on the loosing side?

    You would still pay him his due entitlement b4 u can fire him….

Update cookies preferences