NPFL INVITATIONAL SUPER SIX
* Maikaba satisfied with Akwa Utdâ€™s draw with MFM
Home-based Eagles will this afternoon file out against reigning Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) champions Plateau United at the Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano in their first match of the glamour Super Six Tournament.
Head Coach of the team, Salisu Yusuf, has promptly replaced injured Joseph Osadiaye with Nura Mohammed, while the place of former Akwa United FC defender Afeez Aremu, who few days ago signed a contract with IK Start FC of Norway, will go to veteran wing back Chima Akas.
The squad of 30 players and their officials are staying at the Tahir Guest House in the ancient city, and Yusuf has emphasised the importance of regaining winning spirit ahead of the 5th African Nations Championship following a 4-1 bashing by Ghana in the WAFU Cup final in September.
After defeating Sierra Leone and drawing with Mali and Guinea, the Eagles overpowered Ghana and Benin Republic to reach the WAFU Cup final, only to lose to the host nation in Cape Coast.
Nigeria qualified for the 5th African Nations Championship following a 2-1 aggregate win over Benin Republic in August, and will play Rwanda, Equatorial Guinea and Libya in Group C at the finals starting on 13th January.
In Kano, the Eagles will rest on Thursday before clashing with two-time African champions Enyimba FC at the same venue on Friday, with the final set for Sunday.
After the Super Six Tournament, 25 players are expected to be involved in a second phase of camping before the team departs for Morocco early next month.
Meanwhile, Akwa United Head Coach, Abdu Maikaba, has expressed contentment with his team’s 1-1 draw with MFM FC on the opening day of the ongoing NPFL Invitational tournament on Monday.
Maikaba’s men rallied back from a goal behind to claim a point off MFM at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano after Ajibola Otegbeye converted from the spot to cancel out Adegboyega Adekunle’s strike for the Lagos club.
The former Wikki Tourists coach explained that his team coped well despite having to play three games in three games.
“I am pleased with the performance of my players, we played three games within three days and this is not easy. It was a good game and I am happy we are picking up.
“We have much to do and we will correct all the errors noted and I am also happy that the competition is helping us to find our bearing,” Maikaba said.