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Dissecting The Value, Strength and Flaws Of The Flying Eagles



Nigeria’s U-20 began their quest for her 8th title on Sunday when it took on the Young Teranga lions in an all West African affair, albeit on a losing note having conceded 5 minutes from the end of the first half.

Nigeria, the most successful African team at the AFCON U-20 leading to the commencement of this Championship had an almost perfect run of friendly games and were dominant in most of the friendly games. It was expected that that run of form will be taking to the tournament proper but facing a side like Senegal who has 6 of the U-20 side being members of the Senegalese CHAN winning side, it was expected that it was going to be an herculean task for the Nigerians to edge the Senegalese. It was a difficult game for both sides but at the end of the day, the Senegalese got a better of the Nigerians, a payback for their loss in 2015 when Nigeria defeated the Senegalese on home soil.

The entire Nigerian squad of 21 players comprising of 3 foreign players; Abel Ogwuche of Trelleborg FF, Ahmed Abdullahi of KAA GENT and Ibrahim Beji Muhammad of Cartagena(although listed on the transfermarkt website as a player of Amateur side, Giants FC and yet to be listed on the Spanish side website) is valued at €150,000 which is the exact value of Abel Ogwuche whom Trelleborg FF signed on a club transfer record in November.

On the other hand, the Senegalese side is valued at €800,000 while the Egyptian side is valued at €1.25 million with 19 years old Tunisian Mohammed Dhaoul of El Ahly being the most expensive player at the tournament at a value of € 1,000,000 and the Mozambique side valued at €100,000

Abel had joined Trelleborg in March 2022 initially on a loan deal from Ibadan based Academy, Tripple 44 and after 8 appearances with three man of the match award and also an interesting stats showing the club never lost any of its games that Abel was involved in either in the Starting 11 or as a sub, the Superettan side would go on to cough a whopping €150,000 for the signature of Tripple 44 product on a permanent transfer which was a club record transfer fee for Trelleborg FF, an indication that the player is rated very highly and regarded as a valuable asset for the Swedish side.

So, one will beg to ask, why then leave your most valuable player in a crucial game as the Senegalese who have been tipped by several stakeholders and pundits as one of the favourites to lift the 2023 AFCON U-20 CHAMPIONSHIP.

Prior to the tournament proper, Nigeria took on the Zambian U-20 in her final tune up game in Abuja, providing her fans an opportunity to see the team take on another side who will be competing at the 2023 AFCON, Abel Ogwuche partnered Bameyi in defense and the duo appeared to have a good synergy and understanding of each other after just training together for only a few weeks with Abel winning all his aerial duels and having two key passes in the game that saw the Nigerian side triumph by 4 goals to 2.

Abel would follow that performance up with another impressive showing in Nigeria’s last friendly game before the tournament proper with the Nigerian team defeating her opponent in a 6-1 rout.

So seeing Abel confined to the bench in Nigeria’s first game in a game Nigeria didn’t have a commanding showing in its defense line is expected to raise eyebrows and questions.

The team’s other weakness similar to what the Senior National Team, the Super Eagles suffered at the last AFCON when it lost to the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia in the second round showing saw the Tunisians outwitting the Nigerian team by clipping the Super Eagles reliance on the strength of her wingers, appeared to repeat itself on Sunday just like in the case of the Super Eagles loss to the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia with the Nigerian team proving not to have a plan B on the night.

Leading to the AFCON U-20 2023, the wingers have always had huge impact and contributed largely to the Nigerian U-20 fine run of form in her tune up games but on the day, the Nigerian U-20 wingers were completely neutralised and had close to no impact against the Young Teranga lions of Senegal.

Nigeria will face Egypt on 22nd of February and will be hoping to turn her fortunes around. One can only hope that Coach Ladan Bosso who has promised tomake necessary amends, will do exactly just that and return the team back to winning ways which will in turn give Nigerian fans renewed assurance in the team

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National Team News

Nigeria vs Guinea-Bissau: Rating Of Nigeria Super Eagles Players



The Nigerian Super Eagles came through with a shambolic display which led to the team defeat against the ‘Wild Dogs’ of Guinea-Bissau, in one of the AFCON 2023 qualifiers fixture played earlier today at the Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja.

First half goal from Mama Balde was enough to seal all maximum points for the visitors at the expense of the Nigeria Super Eagles.

Following the team poor outing, below is a rating of the individual performances of the Nigeria Super Eagles team.

1. Francis Uzoho (6/10)

Once more Uzoho who retained his place in goal failed to keep a clean-sheet regardless coming through big the few times he was called to action.

2. Bright Samuel-Osayi (8/10)
Arguably Super Eagles man of the match, Samuel-Osayi was a beauty playing from the right back position.

Samuel lived up to expectations offensively and defensively and played a vital role which earnable Samuel Chukwueze to express himself.

3. Zaidu Sanusi (6/10)

Unlike Samuel-Osayi, Zaidu Sanusi failed to live upto expectations. The Guinea-Bissau side capitalized on his deficiency to always operate from his side often and on with many success.

Zaidu Sanusi contributed to the reason why Ademola Lookman wasn’t able to live up to his full potentials.

4. Kevin Akpoguma (6/10)

Akpoma was the weak link in the Eagles backline, many times, the defender was found napping and one of those times resulted to the visitors goal.

5. Calvin Bassey (7/10)

Adventurous Bassey was committed to cleaning up the mess in the Eagles backline.

His partnership with Kevin Akpoguma was below par as the lacked the needed cohesion,little wonder they were found napping in the build up of Guinea-Bissau goal.

6. Ndidi Wilfred (7/10)

Tho below par but a decent display from Ndidi Wilfred, the Leicester City winger won much tackles but had his rating reduced failing to convert a begging chance.

7. Alex Iwobi (8/10)

Iwobi came to the party and gave in his all. The Everton man was virtually everyone and strived to make things happen for the Eagles from the middle of the park.

8. Samuel Chukwueze (7/10)

A decent one from Samuel Chukwueze, his cohesion with Samuel-Osayi made their wing lively but had his rating reduced as he failed to make key moments count.

9. Ademola Lookman (5/10)

A total bad day in office it was for Ademola Lookman, the Atalanta winger was a shadow of himself in the game as basically nothing worked for him in the game.

10. Kelechi Iheanacho (5/10)

Iheanacho was more like a passenger in the game, Kelechi was a shadow of himself but had a decent rating following one scoring opportunity provided.

11. Victor Osimhen (7/10)

Napel striker, Osimhen arguably had a bad day in office. The little fed striker made things work for him but unfortunate not to score.

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National Team News

AFCON Qualifiers: Nigeria Super Eagles Starting XI Against Guinea-Bissau



Barely few minutes away from Nigeria Super Eagles all important fixture against the ‘Wild Dogs’ of Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria Super Eagles gaffer, Jose Peseiro, has rolled out a stars studded starting XI for the game.

In his traditional formation, Coach Jose Peseiro opted for Omonia Nicosia goalkeeper, Francis Uzoho in between the sticks.

In a four man defence set-up, Peseiro opted for the backline duo of Kevin Akpoguma and Calvin Bassey with Samuel Osayi and Zaidu Sanusi playing from the right and left back position respectively.

In the middle of the park, Peseiro unleashed Ndidi Wilfred to play from the defence midfield position alongside Everton midfielder, Alex Iwobi.

Down the flanks, Jose Peseiro opted for the duo of Samuel Chukwueze playing from the right hand channel and Ademola Lookman playing from the left hand.

With Victor Osimhen fit, the Napoli striker has been handed the role to lead attack for the Eagles with Kelechi Iheanacho playing from the supportive role.

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National Team News

Paris 2024: Abiodun Ogunniyi Optimistic Olympics Eagles Will Overrun Guinea In Morroco To Qualify



Futbola klubs Auda and Olympic Eagles winger, Oluwatimilehin Abiodun Ogunniyi, has described Nigeria U-23 stalemate against Guinea U-23 as unfortunate but remained optimistic of the team causing an upset in the second leg of the fixture slayed for 28th March in Morroco.

In a post-match reaction, visibly gutted Oluwatimilehin Abiodun Ogunniyi expressed high optimism of him and the team getting the job done in Morocco.

“The first leg of the fixture is done and dusted and we have shifted our focus to the next fixture in Morroco”

“We played and gave in our best but we were unfortunate not to get a goal but it’s not the end of the road for us”

“We can possibly seal an U-23 AF ON ticket in Morroco and the whole team is resolute to make it happen”

“We have the quality and it’s now left for us to show quality by matching our opponent’s toe to toe in the second league”

After a disappointing draw at home, the Nigeria U-23 will have their fate in their hands as a win in Morroco will see the team through.

The winner on aggregate will qualify for the Africa U23 Cup of Nations scheduled for Morocco later this year, at which Africa’s flag bearers at next year’s Men’s Olympic Football Tournament will emerge

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