Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Eagles name nine home based players for Venezuela friendly

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The nine players will join their 11 foreign based colleagues for the match.

The Super Eagles handlers have named nine home based professionals to be part of the team to travel to the U.S for the friendly match against Venezuela.

The players will join the 11 foreign based players already named for the November 14 encounter in Miami, Florida, United States. The list was announced lunch time Saturday by the Eagles Assistant Coach, Dan ‘the Bull’ Amokachi, on behalf of Head Coach, Stephen Keshi.

Leading the home based Eagles is Chigozie Agbim, who recently moved from Warri Wolves to Rangers International. Expectedly, Sunshine Stars skipper, Godfrey Oboabona, also made the cut; same for left back Benjamin Francis, who has been in impressive form at the national team’s camp.

Towering Warri Wolves centre back Azubuike Egwueke; Solomon Kwambe, who is gradually establishing himself in the right back position; Kano Pillars centre back, Zango Umar; Heartland of Owerri midfielder, Henry Uche; former Golden Eaglets skipper, Sunday Mba of Warri Wolves; and dare-devil Rangers International of Enugu winger, Ejike Uzoenyi, complete the list of home based stars for the friendly.

Earlier on Saturday morning before the team was announced for the trip to the United States, the team had a field day in its last preparatory game for the friendly by defeating Water FC of Abuja, an amateur side by 3-1. It will be recalled that when both sides clashed October 5, this year in the run up to the Nations Cup cracker against Liberia, the national team was held to a 1-1 draw.

This time the Eagles decided to prove their superiority by totaling outclassing the Abuja side in the encounter. Sunday Mba served notice of what was to happen when he blasted wide after being set up by Uzoenyi in just the second minute of the encounter.  In the 6th minute of the encounter, Azubuike strayed forward to head home an Uzoenyi corner kick, but a Water FC player blocked it with his hands. The referee rightly pointed to the spot and Mba stepped forward to send the keeper the wrong way.

The Eagles would have been two more goals up but Gambo Mohammed blasted wide in the 10 minute, before hitting the cross-bar with a textbook header in the 20th. Gambo finally registered his name on the goal scorer’s sheet when he out-jumped the Water FC defender to nod home a Solomon Kwambe long ranger.

The amateur side thereafter woke up and subjected the Eagles defence to sporadic raids. Agbim saved a shot in the 42nd minute by palming the ball for a corner kick. The resultant corner kick was rammed home by Okey Aboyin, who was also the scorer when both sides met in October. The first half ended 2-1 in favour of the Eagles.

The second half was barely five minutes when onrushing Mba was felled in the vital area, Referee Aniete promptly pointed to the spot and Mba stepped forward to dispatch his second goal of the morning.

The game which was watched by NFF Technical Director, Emmanuel Ikpeme, went on a ding dong affair till a dramatic moment in the 85th minute when a Water FC attacker was felled in the Eagles vital area. A penalty was awarded but blasted wide by Ifeanyi Adibe, to ensure a respectable scoreline for the national side.

The team will depart for Miami through the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos by 10p.m. via Delta Airlines and accommodation has already been reserved for the team at the Intercontinental Doral in Miami.

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