27 May 2016

Nigeria/Mali: Yusuf Tips Eagles to Overrun Mali in Rouen

Photo: This Day
Nigeria's senior soccer team - The Super Eagles

The Super Eagles are good to go for victory against their Malian counterparts in today's international friendly match at the Stade Robert Diochon in Rouen, France, according to interim Head Coach, Salisu Yusuf.

Yusuf, who is assisted by Imama Amapakabo and Kennedy Boboye, have worked with a relatively young team in three training sessions but says there is belief in the squad going into the clash with the fellow West Africans.

"Yes, we have had only three training sessions. But they were very good sessions and the team has bonded very well. We expect to go all out even though it is a friendly match. We are working with players who have self-belief and there is excellent team spirit."

Only two players, namely Turkey-based defender Kenneth Omeruo and Belgium-based midfielder Wilfred Ndidi were being expected as at yesterday afternoon.

In camp are Odion Ighalo, Ogenyi Onazi, Brown Ideye, Carl Ikeme, Alex Iwobi, Abdullahi Shehu, Umar Aminu, Kingsley Madu, Moses Simon, Elderson Echiejile, Leon Balogun, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Musa Muhammed, Etebo Oghenekaro, Babatunde Michael, Raheem Lawal, Gbenga Arokoyo, Kelechi Iheanacho, Daniel Akpeyi and William Troost Ekong.

Friday's match is the first of a two-game arrangement that will see the Super Eagles leave for Luxembourg City on Saturday, to play that country's senior national team on Tuesday night.

In another development, the camp of the U-23 National Team, Dream Team, came alive on Wednesday with the arrival of five of the invited foreign based players hitting.

First to arrive the Serob Legacy Hotel camp of the Dream Team was captain Azubuike Okechukwu who was looking fit and ready as he wasted no time in joining the team's morning training session.

Next was Portugal based defender Stanley Amuzie who came in around 2pm thereby being part of the team's evening training session, and the number was increased when the team was having dinner with the arrival of the trio of Godwin Saviour, Taiwo Awoniyi and Usman Mohammed, with back slapping and hugging from their team mates and officials.

Yesterday afternoon, the camp was further boosted when England based Nathan Oduwa arrived. Speaking to thenff.com, Captain Okechukwu expressed delight in being called upon to wear the colors of the country as he sees it as a thing of pride and honor.

"This is a big family and any time I am called upon to be part of the family, I feel highly honored and as such will do everything to make it. I have had a hectic season and as such had wanted to rest a little with my family, but this is a call to duty which I must honor, so I had to cut short my rest to beat the deadline set by my coach who I know is a no-nonsense person."

With the arrival of the six players, the camp now has seven of the eight foreign based players invited to camp, with France based midfielder Sodiq Popoola expected in camp on Friday due to flight challenges.

Meanwhile, Coach Siasia is expected to release the list of players for next month's Suwon Invitational Tournament in South Korea today.

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