Head Coach Augustine Eguavoen has named his 28-final list of the Super Eagles of Nigeria for the 33rd Africa Cup of Nations taking place in Cameroon 9th January – 6th February 2022, with Captain Ahmed Musa, midfield enforcer Wilfred Ndidi and effervescent forward Victor Osimhen all making the cut for the big houseparty.
The three –time winners will confront seven-time and record winners Egypt, Sudan and debutants Guinea Bissau with venue in the northern town of Garoua, and a mouth-watering clash with the Pharaohs in the group opener on Tuesday, 11th January means the Eagles must hit the ground at blistering pace.
Former Nigeria captain Eguavoen, who coached the Super Eagles to third-place finish at the finals in Egypt 15 years ago, has selected four goalkeepers, nine defenders, five midfielders and 10 forwards to aim for Nigeria’s fourth diadem in Cameroon.
Goalkeepers Maduka Okoye and Francis Uzoho, defenders Kenneth Omeruo, Olaoluwa Aina and Abdullahi Shehu, midfielders Joseph Ayodele-Aribo and Chidera Ejuke and forwards Moses Simon, Odion Ighalo and Samuel Chukwueze are also on the roster.
There is a return to the group for former U17 World Cup –winning captain Kelechi Nwakali, forward Emmanuel Dennis and 2016 Olympics star Sadiq Umar.
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All invited players, bar the UK-based crew, are expected to arrive in camp in the Nigeria’s federal capital, Abuja on 29th December, with the UK-based players expected to start arriving on Monday, 3rd January.
Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (AC Omonia, Cyprus); 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); Olisa Ndah (Orlando Pirates, South Africa)
Midfielders: Frank Onyeka (Brentford FC, England); Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Galsgow Rangers, Scotland); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Chidera Ejuke (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Kelechi Nwakali (SD Huesca, Spain)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Fatih Karagumruk, Turkey); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain); Victor Osimhen (Napoli FC, Italy); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Sadiq Umar (UD Almeria, Spain); Taiwo Awoniyi (Union Berlin, Germany); Odion Jude Ighalo (Al-Shabab Riyadh, Saudi Arabia); Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Emmanuel Dennis (Watford FC, England)
Over 120 fans die in Indonesia football stampede
At least 129 people have died in a stampede at an Indonesian football match, officials say, in one of the world’s worst stadium disasters.
The stampede happened after police tear-gassed rioting supporters.
About 180 were injured in the crush after Arema FC lost to bitter rivals Persebaya Surabaya in East Java.
The country’s chief security minister said that the number of spectators exceeded the stadium’s capacity by around 4,000 people.
President Joko Widodo has ordered that all matches in Indonesia’s top league must be stopped until an investigation has been concluded.
Videos show fans running on to the pitch after the final whistle.
Police then fired tear gas, leading to a crowd stampede and cases of suffocation, said Nico Afinta, police chief in East Java.
“It had gotten anarchic. They started attacking officers, they damaged cars,” he said, adding that two police officers were among the dead.
“We would like to convey that… not all of them were anarchic. Only about 3,000 who entered the pitch,” he said.
Fleeing fans “went out to one point at the exit. Then there was a build-up, in the process of accumulation there was shortness of breath, lack of oxygen”, he added.
Videos on social media show fans clambering over fences to escape. Separate videos appear to show lifeless bodies on the floor.
FIFA, the world’s governing football body, states that no “crowd control gas” should be carried or used by stewards or police at matches.
The Indonesian football association (PSSI) said it had launched an investigation, adding that the incident had “tarnished the face of Indonesian football”.
Violence at football matches is not new in Indonesia, and Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya are long-time rivals.
Persebaya Surabaya fans were banned from buying tickets for the game because of fears of clashes.
But Chief Security Minister Mahfud MD posted on Instagram that 42,000 tickets had been sold for the match at the Kanjuruhan stadium, which has a capacity of 38,000.
President Widodo called for this to be the “last soccer tragedy in the nation” after ordering that all Liga 1 games should be paused pending an investigation.
Arsenal spank Tottenham 3-1 in London derby
Arsenal secured a vital 3-1 win over Tottenham at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday as goals from Thomas Partey, Gabriel Jesus and Granit Xhaka saw the Gunners triumph in the North London derby.
Mikel Arteta made two changes to the team that defeated Brentford last time out as Oleksandr Zinchenko and Martin Odegaard returned while Thomas Partey started after some injury concerns.
Arsenal dominated the opening exchanges and took the lead with 20 minutes gone through a Partey pearler.
Just nine minutes later, Harry Kane brought Spurs level after Gabriel brought down Richarlison to undo all of Arsenal’s good work. The visitors grew into the game after drawing level and headed into half-time with a share of the spoils.
Arsenal took the lead minutes into the second half. Bukayo Saka weaved his way into the box and hit his shot at Hugo Lloris who parried twice which allowed Jesus to poke home.
With 60 minutes gone, Spurs’ chances of taking something away from the game were dealt a blow when Emerson Royal was shown a straight red card for his challenge on Gabriel Martinelli.
Arsenal made their advantage pay as Granit Xhaka fired his shot low and across Lloris after some good work from Martinelli. The Gunners played out the remaining time without breaking a sweat to secure north London bragging rights.
Harry Kane’s leveller for Tottenham saw him set yet more scoring records, but his side self-destructed after halftime as their 12-year wait for a league win in the fixture continued. Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal have now won seven of their opening eight games and lead the standings by four points with second-placed Manchester City facing Manchester United on Sunday.
Lewandowski gives Barca slim victory in Mallorca
Robert Lewandowski was the hero once again for Barcelona as they fought to a 1-0 victory away at Mallorca.
The game started with Barca pulling weights to break the deadlock, and did eventually when Lewandowski curled in a fine shot into the bottom corner of the net in the 20th minute.
Barca then tried to kill off the game but could not find that second-goal cushion as Mallorca were defensively solid.
The host tried, on multiple occasions, to draw level but Marc Andre Ter Stegen continued his excllent form between the sticks for Barca as he denied their attempts to ensure Barca pick up maximum points and stay top of the league for at least, the night till Real Madrid play Osasuna on Sunday night.
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