The Super Eagles’ camp in Tangier has swelled to 21 players with only forwards Victor Osimhen and the returning Odion Ighaloas well as Enyimba goalkeeper John Noble yet to arrive Morocco.
Captain Ahmed Musa led 20 other invited players at the Super Eagles’ first training session on Tuesday as they began earnest preparations for Saturday’s FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 African qualifying encounter against the Lone Star of Liberia in Tangier.
The Super Eagles had a gym session at the hotel in the morning and were scheduled to train in the evening at the Grand Stade de Tanger (also known as Stade Ibn Batouta), a 45,000–capacity facility that was opened in April 2011 but which will, sadly, be empty when Nigeria and Liberia tackle each other for three precious points on Saturday. ‘Hosts’ Liberia have made no move to get the Confederation of African Football to approve crowd attendance at the Day 5 game.
Group leaders Nigeria on nine points, need all three points from the encounter with the Lone Star in order to stay in contention to star in the knockout phase of the World Cup qualifiers, set for March 2022. Only the group winners will proceed to the knockout phase that will be a home-and-away exercise to produce Africa’s five flagbearers in Qatar.
Cape Verde’s Blue Sharks, who hosts Central African Republic in Mindelo on Saturday, have seven points and will be hoping the Super Eagles stumble in North Africa ahead of their meeting in Lagos.
Cape Verde’s Blue Sharks, with seven points, are at home to the Beasts on the island of Mindelo, hoping to garner another three points that could make the final Group C encounter with Nigeria on 16 November in Lagos a cliff-hanger.
Meanwhile, the delegation of Liberia’s Lone Star also arrived in Tangier on Monday, and included three goalkeepers, seven defenders, seven midfielders and five forwards.
The Lone Star, bottom of Group C of the African series with three points, have a very remote chance of qualifying even though they play their final two matches at ‘home’ in Tangier, which is the venue they opted for as home ground after CAF ruled that there is no venue in the whole of Liberia fit and proper to host international matches.
After the session with the three-time African champions, the Lone Star will remain in Tangier for their final game of the campaign, against the Wild Beasts of Central African Republic, also on Tuesday next week.
EAGLES FOR LONE STAR & BLUE SHARKS
Goalkeepers: John Noble (Enyimba FC); Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa); Maduka Okoye (Sparta Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
Defenders: Chidozie Awaziem (Alanyaspor FC, Turkey); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Leon Balogun (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); William Ekong (Watford FC, England); Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Abdullahi Shehu (AC Omonia, Cyprus); Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal); Kevin Akpoguma (TSG Hoffenheim, Germany)
Midfielders: Frank Onyeka (Brentford FC, England); Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Galsgow Rangers, Scotland); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Fatih Karagumruk, Turkey); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain); Victor Osimhen (Napoli FC, Italy); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Paul Onuachu (KRC Genk, Belgium); Chidera Ejuke (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Odion Jude Ighalo (Al-Shabab Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)
LONE STAR FOR SUPER EAGLES
Goalkeepers: Derrick Julu (Watanga FC); Tommy Songo’s (LISCR FC); Boison Wynney de Souza (FC Somesul Dej, Romania)
Defenders: Sampson Dweh (LPRC Oilers); Alvin Maccornel (Watanga FC); Ben Benaiah (LPRC Oilers); Carlos Williams (Watanga FC); Prince Balde (FC Drita, Kosovo); Jamal Arago (Sabail FK, Azerbaijan); Mark Pabai (PEC Zwolle, The Netherlands)
Midfielders: Abraham Soumaoro (Paeek FC, Cyprus); Seth Kanteh Hellberg (IK Barge, Sweden); Allen Njie (FC Aarau, Switzerland); Marcus Macaulay (Sahab FC, Jordan); Oscar Murphy Dorley (Slavia Prague, Czech Republic); Justin Salmon (Degerfors IF, Sweden); Abu Kamara (FC Makedonija, North Macedonia)
Forwards: Peter Wilson (Olympiakos Nicosia, Cyprus); Moussa Sanoh (CS Mioveni, Romania); Van-Dave Harmon (KF Laci, Albania); Kpah Sherman (Kedah FC, Malaysia); Sylvanus Nimley (Llves, Finland)