The number of Super Eagles players in camp as of Monday night had swelled to 12 after six more players arrived.
The players are camping at the Wells Carlton Hotel, Asokoro, Abuja, ahead of their two-legged FIFA World Cup play-off encounter with arch-rivals, Ghana.
Six players – William Troost-Ekong, Leon Balogun, Semi Ajayi, Ola Aina and Frank Onyeka – were the first to arrive at the camp, according to the team’s media officer, Babafemi Raji.
However, Daniel Akpeyi, Ahmed Musa, Oghenekaro Etebo, Kelechi Iheanacho, Shehu Abdullahi and Francis Uzoho have now joined the group ahead of the start of the training session on Tuesday.
Nigeria take on Ghana away on Friday, 25th March, with the reverse leg set for the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja on Tuesday, 29th March from 6pm.
The winner over two legs will earn one of Africa’s five tickets to the 22nd FIFA World Cup finals, scheduled for 14th November – 18th December this year in Qatar.
Bonke for Ndidi
Meanwhile, the team revealed on its Twitter handle Sunday evening that Innocent Bonke will replace the injured Wilfred Ndidi in the squad.
Bonke plays as a midfielder for Ligue 1 club, Lorient.
Ndidi picked up a knee injury in Leicester’s Europa Conference League game with Rennes.
Leicester City coach, Brendan Rodgers confirmed Ndidi’s injury in his post-match after the Foxes advanced into the quarter-finals 3-2 on aggregate despite losing the second leg 2-1.
The technical crew of the team had invited 32 players to camp in preparation for the two-legged cracker.
Ronaldo says media lies about Man United future
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.”
Falconets beat Canada, to face the Netherlands in quarter-final
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.
Osimhen scores, taunts racist Verona fans
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.
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