Nigeria@57: Super Eagles Players Celebrate Independence
As Nigeria celebrates 57 years of independence, some players of the country’s senior national football team, the Super Eagles, have taken to their respective twitter accounts to celebrate the occasion, in solidarity with their fellow compatriots.
The most symbolic of these celebrations came from Arsenal of England’s youngster, Alex Iwobi, who scored a goal against Brighton, in a week 7 game of the English Premier League played at the Emirates in London, Arsenal’s home ground, yesterday. Arsenal beat Brighton 2-0 in that match, as Nancho Monreal had scored before Iwobi netted his team’s second goal, from Alexis Sanchez’ delightful back heel. It would be recalled that Alex Iwobi missed Nigeria’s games against Cameroon due to injury. But he has recovered enough to earn an invitation from Super Eagles’ Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, for this Saturday’s World Cup Qualifier against Zambia, scheduled for Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. He posted the following message in his twitter account, @alexiwobi, after Arsenal’s victory against Brighton: “3 points, clean sheet and a goal. Perfect way to celebrate Independence Day.”
Also, midfielder Onazi Ogenyi posted the following message in his twitter account, @OnaziOgenyi: “Happy Independence Day my dear country Nigeria.”
Similarly, defender Leon Balogun (@LeonBalogun) tweeted: “Happy Independence Day Nigeria.” In the same vein, John Ogu (@ogujohnugo) tweeted: “Happy independence to my lovely country. I love you.” John Ogu appears to be one of the earliest to arrive Uyo for this Saturday’s game. This afternoon, he tweeted: “In Uyo live!” Ogu posted this picture, showing him and defender Elderson Echiejile.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has released media schedules ahead of this Saturday’s game against Zambia. According to the Super Eagles’ twitter account (@NGSuperEagles), open training sessions would hold tomorrow (Tuesday, October 3, 2017) and on Wednesday, October 4, 2017. Closed training sessions would take place on Thursday, October 4, 2017 and on Friday, October 5, 2017. The release further indicates that a pre match press parley would hold at Le Meridien, Uyo, on Thursday, October 5, 2017, at 11.30am. According to the release, access to the parley “is for properly identified persons only.”
In a related development, John Obi Mikel, Super Eagles captain, has reiterated the importance of the game against Zambia. According to www.thenff.com Obi Mikel says: “I must admit that I applaud the resurgence of the Zambians this late in the qualifiers. Beating Algeria home and away is no mean feat. We will take them very serious on the 7th October because they clearly have a new spirit. It is time we wrap this up. We have all shown professionalism, dedication and determination to be at the pole position in a group tagged ‘Group of Death’. Commendations must go to the entire team and the coach, but we must finish this up in Uyo and secure our ticket right there.”
Mikel Obi has been outstanding in his recent games for the Super Eagles. His long perfect lob from the midfield fetched the team’s first goal against Cameroon in Uyo last month, as his fellow China based footballer Odion Ighalo latched on to it to outwit the Cameroonian back line and goalkeeper. Mikel went on to score Nigeria’s second goal in that match that ended 4-0 in favor of Nigeria.
Apart from Alex Iwobi, wing back Tyronne Ebuehi and South Africa based goalkeeper, Daniel Akpeyi, the same personnel that dominated The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon have been invited to vie for selection in the game against Zambia. The only slight difference is that goalkeeper Dele Alampasu, who was in the previous list, is in the standby part of the current list of invited players.
A win of whatever margin would earn Nigeria a ticket for her sixth World Cup appearance. Kick off time for this Saturday’s match is 5:00pm. Also, a win for Nigeria in that match will be another icing on Nigeria’s Independence cake.
We wish the country well in that regard.
- Cornelius Ellah
Please See Related Posts:
Cameroun: Super Eagles arrive Yaounde to Face Lions (here)
In Pictures: Nigeria’s Super Eagles’ Match with Cameroon (here)
Match Day! Super Eagles remain Positive (here)