17 September 2009

Nigeria: Siasia Names Shagari, Rabiu, Aluko for U-20 World Cup

Abuja — Coach Samson Siasia named his 21-man team yesterday for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt, with Kano Pillars midfielder Muhammed Shagari, Rabiu Ibrahim and former Golden Eaglets captain Lukman Haruna making the team.

The list made available to reporters yesterday also has 2007 FIFA U-17 wining-goalkeepers Oladele Ajiboye and Uche Okafor with Olateru Oladapo to vie for the team's safe hand position.

In defence are Oluwasina Abe, Nurudeen Orelesi, Obiora Nwankwo, Ibok Edet, Raheen Lawal, Daniel Adejo; while King Osanga, Yakubu Alfa, Ikande Harmony are the other midfielders.

The team's marksmen are Odion Ighalo, Kehinde Fatai, Danny Uchechi, Omatsone Aluko, Stanley Ohawuchi and Gbolahan Salami. The Flying Eagles are to fly out of Spain tomorrow to challenge for the ultimate marble at the 17th FIFA U-20 World Cup taking place in Egypt from 24th September to 16th October.

Runners -up in 1989 and 2005, Nigeria are lumped in Group B of this year's tournament alongside Spain, Venezuela and Tahiti.

Nigeria's Head Coach, Samson Siasia, who coached the class of 2005 that lost in the final to Argentina, and also led the U-23 team to Olympic silver in Beijing last year looks to go all the way in the three-week soccer fiesta.

"We have confidence and we have the players to do us proud. The training camps in Qatar and Spain have helped the team greatly and we are heading to Egypt believing we can conquer", said Siasia, a former World Cup star. The Flying Eagles have spent the last 18 days in a training camp in Mallorca, Spain and on Saturday forced Honduras U-20 team to a 1-1 draw in a friendly game in Alicante. Nigeria's first match is against Venezuela at the Al Salam Stadium, Cairo on September 25, before they play Spain on September 28. Their final group phase game is against Tahiti, the Oceania champions at the expansive Cairo International Stadium on Nigeria's Independence Day.

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