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U-23 AFCON Qualifier: Odey Upbeat Nigeria Will Pip Sudan On Aggregate; Nwakali Joins Team In Asaba

U-23 AFCON Qualifier: Odey Upbeat Nigeria Will Pip Sudan On Aggregate; Nwakali Joins Team In Asaba

Stephen Odey is confident the U-23 Eagles can overturn their 1-0 first leg deficit against Sudan and secure a place at the Africa U-23 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt even as the team had their first training session in Asaba on Sunday morning, reports Completesports.com.

The Eagles dominated play in the encounter played at the Al Merriekh Stadium, Omdurman but were let down by their poor marksmanship.

Odey, Taiwo Awoniyi and Muyiwa Olabinran all missed close chances to score for the side in the game.

Ellla Edin Musa scored the decisive goal for Sudan late in the first half.

Imama Amapakabo’s charges will face the Sudanese in the return fixture at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba on Tuesday.

Ahead of the second leg, Odey is upbeat that the team can overturn the disappointing first leg result and secure qualification for the AFCON tournament.

“It’s really disappointing that we lost the first leg despite the kind of effort we put into the game. We deserved to get something positive from that game, but that’s what football is all about. Sometimes, you lose when you don’t deserve to,” Odey told Completesports.com.

“The first important thing now is to make sure we get a good win that will earn us qualification for the AFCON.

”That is our target and I believe we have what it takes to achieve that objective. It is an important game for the country and we cannot afford to let the fans down. ”

Meanwhile, SD Huesca of Spain new signing, Kelechi Nwakali has linked up with the team and was part of Sunday’s training session.

The team will train twice on Monday as they intensify preparations ahead of the crucial game.

The winner over two legs game will feature at the U-23 AFCON competition in November.

By Adeboye Amosu

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  • I hope our boys will not be complacent in the front of goal. They should be told to utilize chances as it come their way to avoid undeserved ouster. Best of luck on Tuesday 

  • I am really disapointed in taiwo awoniyi. That guy is not meeting our dream expectation at all. I really hoped on him. Bye the way why didnt amakpobo invites isaac success that guy might not be sucessfull in england but he is born naija player. He delivered in is debut against senegal i think we need him in this team

  • Nwakali! The coach knows what he instantly brings to the team. He is quality and quality is he.
    Great to have such a problem for the opposition in the 2nd leg.
    We can take a relaxed outlook towards this match,we win,we go through. Chikena!

    • Greenturf 5 years ago

      Yes Nwakali brings quality to the midfield but his match fitness could be a problem because he has not played club football in a while.
      Having said that,he is a professional and should know how to take care of himself to stay fit.
      Our problem could come from the defence and attack.
      Awoniyi has shot blank in three games for the Olympic football team and has not put his foot right for his club either likewise Odey and this two have the responsibilities of getting the goals,on the flanks we have Olabiran who is based in Russia and the other lad from Austrian 2nd division both who are struggling for game time in their respective teams,so we are having four attackers who aren’t match fit playing against a Sudanese side with majority fit home based players who obviously are regulars for their clubs back home.Obviously,we have a huge problem here created by Imama and the NFF who didn’t vent his list.

      • @Greenfurf, precisely. Kelechi Nwakali has not played a game since the last match in March vs Libya where he brought quality and urgency to our midfield.

        The squad selection is very suspect, I’ll not say much about the home grown players (no matches since the end of the League in June) except the under 20’s that represented us at the world cup with distinction: ikouwem Utin, Igho Ogbu, Valentine Ozornwafor, Tom Dele-Bashiru, Nnamdi Oforbohr and Aniekeme Okon could have been somehow given a look in.

        Also of the seven foreign professionals invited, I don’t see how they bring quality to the squad given that the afore mentioned K Nwakali, Kingsley John, Orji Okonkwo, David Okereke, Kelechi John and Dennis Bonaventure were all unceremoniously dropped from the squad that beat Libya 4-0 in Asaba.

        Add also the quartet of Victor Osimhen, Samuel Chukwueze, Chidozie Awaziem and Francis Uzoho (include the new Goalie maduka Okoye) who have all be called up for a friendly match to the Super Eagles, when its clear that a much more crucial qualification match is at hand, a match that could end up with us missing out on the Olympics next year.

        Who changes 60% of a squad mid qualification? Not even Brazil with 1,000 plus players plying their trade across the globe would try this.

        of the team that beat Libya, only 5 (of 18) were called up – Etboy Akpan, Ebube Duru, John Lazarus Taiwo Awoniyi and Muyiwa Olabimran were on the pitch and of the two Taiwo and Muyiwa were substituted for two players that made a difference in the match against Libya.

        A classic case of under estimating the opposition, over confidence, arrogance and not choosing the best legs we have for the job.

        I just hope that it does not come back to bite us in the arse

      • Samchi 5 years ago

        Please you should understand that most of them you Listed above were not released by their clubs, as in the case of Orji and okereke while the others like Osimhen and Chukwueze are in far away Ukraine for the upcoming friendly on Tuesday. You don’t expect them to Fly bck to Nigeria and then out again after the match.
        It’s crystal clear they were not dropped ped’ i mean who dumps a squad of such calibre.

        • @Samchi, they were not invited in the first place. The FIFA international football window runs from the 3rd of September to the 10th.
          Under current rules, the clubs cannot hold onto a player for more than 48 hours after a request is made for them off the country has a match “in any competition”.

          Whomever made the decision to drop them had it back fire in their faces that’s why they attempted to call up two players Okereke (joint top scorer 4 goals with Osimhen) and Orji after the fact.
          If they had been called up in the first place the clubs would not be able to refuse without having sanctions by FIFA.
          Bonaventure called up later to replace Onyekuru in the Super Eagles from the same club Brugge is a case in point

          • My dear Tell him because they come here to say nonsense but claim that they know,how can someone tell us that club’s hold’s players not to attend national duty our so called coach is a waste

  • Why taiwo ayoniyi now fading off

  • It a pity dey lost fhe 1st leg . This is a two way thing . U had information dat Sudan will win d 1st leg. Using defensive approach. And dat they did.. now 2nd leg is here. Will dey come out ? No. Will eagles attack? Yes 90%.of d game. Will d eagles coaching crew have a second thought? No. Y den? Because he is a black man. Wat is likely to be the result . 2 :1 .y? D person dat will score is playing abother game in oyinbo country. Ukraine . But I want Nigeria to win so tell u r coach to play one man to one man . So dat eagles will not forget their defence .so dat d can win. 4 goals.. Oracle. Talking to me yesterday.

  • Mr Hush 5 years ago

    The first leg is gone,we lost.
    I want to believe they know what cost them that match and have made a lot of amendment to it.from the forgoing,I don’t see much.
    The elephant in the room is that the problem of this team is the ability to score goals; the strikers are always the culprit.especially Awoniyi.
    From reports of the match against Libya away and now Sudan away,they have always held possession,created scoring chances,but the strikers always squander them.
    We could see the difference in the return leg against Libya when a quality striker in the person of Osimhen came in,lots of goals was scored.

    So my take is, Awoniyi need to sit up,if there is one striker that has been given so much opportunity for club and country,it is Taiwo,and he has always failed to validate such faith. he has positional awareness,but lack the finishing of a classy striker.
    There is so much one can get with chances,as life is all about time and chance.you have to take it or lose it. And in this case,Taiwo has cost us two matches.even if that sounds unfair, being a team effort,but he is the arrow Head.
    He and odey,should know,there is no Osimhen to bail them out this time around and they need to step up,cause the chances would come,I am sure of that..
    I wish them the best.

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