Bereaved Flying Eagles striker fights for World Cup position


The Super Eagles player will have to fight for a spot in the Nigeria’s U 20 squad.

Enugu Rangers striker, Alhaji Gero, is expected to put behind the death of his younger brother and fight to guarantee his place in Nigeria’s U 20 squad to the 2013 FIFA Junior World Cup in Turkey.

Gero like the other hitherto regular strikers, are facing fresh threats with the emergence of new legs like Dolphins striker, Samuel Eduok, as an attacking option for the team.

On Wednesday, the readiness of the Nigerian team for next month’s World Cup in Turkey will be tested as they file out for their first game at the Toulon International Tournament against defending champions Mexico.

The Flying Eagles open their campaign at the Stade Perruc Hyeres in France by 5.30pm., which is 4.30 p.m. Nigerian time.

This will be Nigeria’s first outing at the 46-year-old tournament and the Flying Eagles will use it to prepare for the World Cup in Turkey.

Six of the 10 teams at this year’s competition will feature at the U20 World Cup including Nigeria, Portugal, Colombia, France, United States of America, and South Korea.

“We have a good team who have been responding to training. We will see how much they have learnt thus far,” said the Flying Eagles German assistant coach, Jurgen Press.

Cote d’Ivoire has been the only African winners of this tournament, when they won it three years ago.

Mexico and Nigeria last clashed at U20 level two years ago when the CONCACAF giants defeated the Flying Eagles 4-1 in another invitational tournament in Panama preparatory to the 2011 U20 World Cup in Colombia.

Six-time African champions, Nigeria, will line up several players like U17 international defender Wilfred Ndidi, Switzerland-based goalkeeper Sebastian Osigwe and new Olympiacos of Greece midfielder Michael Olaitan, who are pressing to make the final 21-man squad for Turkey 2013.

Mexico are handled by the experienced Sergio Almaguer and will parade FC Dallas of USA goalkeeper, Sanchez Alcaraz, along with players drawn from several of the country’s top clubs like Pachuca, Monterrey, Atlas and Cruz Azul.

To qualify for the 2013 World Cup, Mexico won five matches, scored 15 goals and conceded only a goal to emerge undisputed CONCACAF champions.

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