14 Eagles in Uyo ahead of Clash with Squirrels

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Ahmed Musa

2021 AFCON QUALIFIER

*Nine more expected this morning

*Benin Rep. Squirrel scheduled to arrive today

Duro Ikhazuagbe

Super Eagles camp at the Ibom Meridien Hotel and Resort in Uyo bubbled with life yesterday as 14 players, including Captain Ahmed Musa started training ahead of tomorrow’s 2021 AFCON qualifying clash with Squirrels of Benin Republic.

The remaining nine invited players are expected to fly into the Akwa Ibom State capital this morning.

The players who were led in Monday’s training by Head Coach, Gernot Rohr include; Musa, goalkeepers Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Daniel Akpeyi and Maduka Okoye, defenders Kenneth Omeruo, Chidozie Awaziem, Olaoluwa Aina, Jamilu Collins and Semi Ajayi.

Midfielders Alex Iwobi, Ramon Azeez and Wilfred Ndidi, and forwards Samuel Kalu and Victor Osimhen completed the list of early birds in camp.

Expected to arrive this morning are defenders William Troost Ekong, and Abdullahi Shehu, midfielders Mikel Agu and Joseph Ayodele-Aribo and forwards like Moses Simon, Samuel Chukwueze, Paul Onuachu and Emmanuel Dennis.

Enyimba FC defence stalwart Ifeanyi Anaemena who was last minute replacement for Bryan Idowu is the ninth player expected today.

The People’s Elephant’s Anaemena was invited as Idowu’s replacement because the Russia based defender submitted his international passport for renewal and the document is not ready for him to travel to Nigeria for the encounter.

Anaemena was impressive for the Home-based Eagles in their 2020 African Nations Championship qualifier against Togo at the Agege Stadium last month, and has also been a key player for Enyimba, two-time CAF Champions League winners, as they reached the group phase of this year’s CAF Confederation Cup competition.

The defender will also be part of the squad for the Day Two clash with Lesotho in Maseru on Sunday, 17th November.

After the opening day work out, Super Eagles are expected to again train at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium this evening before filling out against the Squirrels on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the delegation of the Benin Republic team is expected to land in Uyo today.

Both teams were part of the 2019 AFCON finals in Egypt, with Nigeria winning the bronze medals while Benin Republic famously defeated Morocco while holding their own against Cameroon and Ghana.

Already, CAF has named Senegalese official Issa Sy as referee for the match, to be assisted by compatriots Nouha Bangoura (assistant referee 1), El Hadji Abdoul Aziz Gueye (assistant referee 2) and Fatou Thioune (fourth official).

The Day 1 clash in the 2021 AFCON qualifying series will also see Munkaila Nassam Adam from Ghana as match commissioner while Kria Samir Bouzareah from Algeria will play the role of referee assessor.

The match officials arrived in Uyo on Monday.

Cameroon is the designated host nation for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations finals.