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Nigeria releases 28 Super Eagles final list for AFCON 2022

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Nigeria’s Head Coach Augustine Eguavoen has named his 28-final list of the Super Eagles 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.

All invited players 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.

SUPER EAGLES’ SQUAD FOR 33RD AFCON CAMEROON 2021

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).

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Ronaldo says media lies about Man United future

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Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo has hit out at the “lies” surrounding reports about his future at Manchester United.

The Portugal forward missed United’s pre-season tour to Thailand and Australia due to personal reasons as speculation swirled over whether he would be leaving Old Trafford.

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It has been reported Ronaldo wants to play Champions League football, but United maintain the 37-year-old is not for sale and remains an integral part of the plans of new boss Erik ten Hag.

In a reply to a fan account on Instagram that referred to a report linking the United frontman to Atletico Madrid, Ronaldo said fans would “know the truth” in a couple of weeks, adding: “The media is telling lies.”

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Falconets beat Canada, to face the Netherlands in quarter-final

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The Nigeria U-20 women ‘s team, the Falconets early Thursday morning rounded off their group stage campaign in the ongoing World Cup taking place in Costa Rica in style; beating Canada 3-1 at the Estadio Alajuela Morera Soto.

The Falconets will face the Netherlands in the quarter-final phase of the tournament.

Coach Chris Danjuma had before now relied on late goals to secure slim 1-0 wins over France and the Korea Republic but the game against Canada was a completely different ball game.

It was the Canadian girls that drew the first blood from an error in the Falconets’ defence.

But two goals from the penalty spot by Esther Onyenezide and another goal in the second half by Chioma Olise saw the Falconets cruising to their biggest win so far in the ongoing tournament in Costa Rica.

Coach Danjuma said before the Canada tie that his girls would seek to win even though they had already booked their place in the last eight.

After falling behind to the early Canada goal, Onyenezide, whose vicious curling shot earned all three points against the Korea Republic, drew the Falconets level from the penalty spot in the 24th minute.

Defender Mia Pante who had handled the ball from a Blessing Okpe shot in the box gifted Nigeria a way back into the game.

Onyenezide was on hand to shoot Nigeria into the lead, also from the spot, in the 32nd minute after Simi Awujo’s dangerous play against Mercy Idoko.

As the Nigeria U20s ended the first half 2-1, nothing suggested the Canadians could mount a fightback in the second half, instead, it was the Falconets that increased their lead.

Substitute Chioma Olise got Nigeria’s third goal as the Falconets finished top in Group C with nine points from three games.

With Thursday’s outcome, the Falconets now have a quarter-final date with The Netherlands in Alajuela on Monday.

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Osimhen scores, taunts racist Verona fans

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Victor Osimhen

Victor Osimhentaunted racist Hellas Verona fans after he scored his first Serie A goal of the season for Napoli, who fought back from a goal down to win 5-2 at the Stadio Bentegodi stadium on Monday, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.

The Nigerian striker also made a back heel flick assist for Matteo Politano to score Napoli’s fifth goal from 12 yards in the rout.

Kevin Lasagna’s cushioned volley at the back post shot Verona into the lead in the 29th minute, but parity was restored when Kvicha Kvaratskhelia headed in Chucky Lozano’s cross eight minutes later.

Napoli turned it around with a goal almost identical to Verona’s, this time a corner was flicked on by Giovanni Di Lorenzo for Osimhen to score with a flexible attempt at the far post.

After scoring to hand the Partenopei a 2-1 lead in the 46th minute, the 23-year-old kicked the ball into the stands in anger at the Hellas Verona fans, who had been hurling racist abuses and monkey chants at him each time he touched the ball during the encounter.

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The Nigeria international also mocked the fans by pretending to cry into the camera as he celebrated his goal with his teammates.

The former Lille striker, who was replaced in the 83rd minute of the win by Adam Ounas, was booked for a foul on Koray Guenter in the 54th minute.

Napoli host Monza at the Diego Maradona stadium on Saturday.

Reacting to his side’s win Osimhen said, “It is important for us to start well because we have lost some great players.

“I am very happy for this victory because it was not easy. We have to feel like last year. This victory shows we are on the right track. I don’t care how many goals I score, I will score to help the team but I always put the team first.

“Spalletti trusts me and he tries to encourage me, it is normal to make some mistakes during matches. He also helps me a lot with individual work.”

On being one of the leaders in the team, the 23-year-old said, “It is important that we all have to take a share of the responsibility. I’m in my third year at the club and it is important for me to encourage new ones like Kvaratskhelia. He had predicted my goal two minutes earlier

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