P.M. NEWS Nigeria » Nigerian Football Teams http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com First with Nigeria News - Nigerian leading evening Newspaper - Sat, 04 Jul 2015 06:31:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 NSC DG passes vote of confidence on NFF http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/02/nsc-dg-passes-vote-of-confidence-on-nff/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/02/nsc-dg-passes-vote-of-confidence-on-nff/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 05:18:32 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=244709 Amaju Pinnick, NFF President

Amaju Pinnick, NFF President

Director General (DG) of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Malam Alhassan Saleh Yakmut has passed a vote of confidence on the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) with regards to living up to its responsibilities to the various national teams.

Speaking on Tuesday in Abuja, the NSC boss discountenanced the report by a national sports paper of Monday, 29 June which claimed that the NFF had abandoned the U-23 team preparing for a 2016 Olympics qualifying fixture against Congo and the men’s football tournament of the 11th All-Africa Games.

“It is mischievous for anyone to say that the NFF has abandoned the U-23 men’s football team. The National Sports Commission and the NFF have been taking good care of the team. My office has been in constant touch with the Nigeria Football Federation which has been doing its statutory duty in ensuring that the teams get all their needs in their pursuit of bringing honour to the nation.

“How can we abandon a team as important as the U-23 team, when they are right now on a double -pronged attack to win gold at the All-Africa Games and also pick one of the tickets for the Olympics? That report is outright falsehood. Mind you, this team have been in camp since November 2014, even though in phases, and have been given all the support to first pick the All-Africa Games football ticket which I am happy they have done, and now battling for the very important Olympic ticket.

“From my interaction with the Head Coach, Samson Siasia, I am happy with the programme he has outlined towards winning the All-Africa Games gold and qualifying for the Olympics.”

He disclosed that the closed camping for the All-Africa Games will commence effectively on Monday, 6 July, and assured Nigerians that all will be done to ensure that the country shines at the Games.

Meanwhile, the NFF and the League Management Company have commended the impact of new measures and the NFF’s capacity building programmes in turning around the fortunes of the various domestic league competitions, viz Nigeria Professional Football League, Nigeria National League, Nigeria Women Football League and the Nigeria Nation-Wide League.

At a joint briefing of the NFF Organizing Committee, the League Management Company and the NFF Referees Committee in Abuja on Tuesday, NFF 1st Vice President Seyi Akinwunmi expressed confidence that the leagues can only get better, in the face of the commitment of the Amaju Pinnick–led NFF towards taking Nigerian football to new heights.

“These wonderful results, we have always expected because of the carefully-laid out training programme for the referees and the referee assessors vis-à-vis capacity building for referees in the United Kingdom and the series of seminars organised here in Nigeria for the referees and referee assessors.

“We feel delighted that FIFA acknowledged our efforts by approving a very special training course for our referees, referee assessors and physical fitness trainers which was organised in Abuja from 23 – 29 May, 2015,” Akinwunmi said.

NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, reiterated the readiness of the present NFF team to run a transparent, accountable administration for the good of Nigeria’s game, and charged the media to provide its support all the way, and also not to be shy to come forward with useful information that could help eradicate unhealthy practices.

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Wike inaugurates committee to host international matches http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/26/wike-inaugurates-committee-to-host-international-matches/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/26/wike-inaugurates-committee-to-host-international-matches/#comments Fri, 26 Jun 2015 17:59:03 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=244149 Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers on Friday in Port Harcourt inaugurated an organising committee for the city’s hosting of two international football matches in July.

Speaking while inaugurating the committee at Government House in Port Harcourt, Wike said hosting the matches would promote the state as a safe place for business and sports.

“The approval of the hosting of the matches in Port Harcourt by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) is an indication of the confidence the football body has in the state.

“We must ensure that the matches are successful and played under a secured atmosphere,” he said.

The governor said the state would continue to play host to important national and international events to “dispel false information peddled by political opponents”.

He urged the committee to get to work immediately and determine the stadium to be used between the Liberation Stadium and the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium.

In his response, Chairman of the committee, Boma Iyaye, assured the governor that he and his colleagues would ensure that the matches were hosted successfully.

The matches are Super Falcons versus Equatorial Guinea on July 18, and the Dream Team VI versus Congo’s under-23 male national team on July 19.

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U-17 Thunder Balogun Tourney Enters Round of 16 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/25/u-17-thunder-balogun-tourney-enters-round-of-16/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/25/u-17-thunder-balogun-tourney-enters-round-of-16/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 12:48:58 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=243968 The ongoing U-17 Tesilim Thunder Balogun Football Competition has reached the round of 16 stage.

The competition is being played in Lagos, southwest Nigeria.

Among the teams that qualified for the round of 16 are Victory FC, Nero FC, Teslim Balogun FC, Mighty Blaster, United FC and Flying Hawks.

Match coordinator, Omotayo Ashiru told P.M.NEWS Thursday that the other eight teams from Campos centre, Lagos Island will join teams that have already qualified in the round of 16.

“We have concluded all the matches at Ikorodu centre and the eight teams have emerged for the next round. We are waiting for other centres before we can kick off the round of 16,” he said.

Commenting on the competition so far, Omotayo said the organisers have discovered young talents that will be recommended to Lagos State Football Association, LSFA, for future programmes.

Action resumes Friday at Campos playground on Lagos Island when Songs FA face Samadeck FC, while Dream Teams FC tackle 36 Lion FA.

The championship is sponsored by the family of the late football icon, Tesilimi Thunder Balogun .

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16 Teams Battle For Golden Penny Nations Cup http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/25/16-teams-battle-for-golden-penny-nations-cup/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/25/16-teams-battle-for-golden-penny-nations-cup/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 12:40:16 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=243964 Golden Penny Food Nations Cup will kick off Saturday at Government College playground, Osborne, Ikoyi, Lagos.

A total of 16 teams are expected to take part in the competition sponsored by Golden Penny Food.

In the fixtures released by the organisers, Group A consists of Ghana, Gabon, Zimbabwe and Uganda.

In Group B are Zambia, Kenya, Egypt and Nigeria, while Group C is made up of Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Senegal and South Africa.

Group D comprises Angola, Morocco, Tunisia and Guinea.

The opening match will be played between Ghana and Gabon, while Zambia face Kenya, Ivory Coast take on Cameroon before Angola clash with Morocco in the last match of the day.

Chairman, Organising Committee, Cosmos Ubani told P.M.NEWS Sports that the tournament is put together to keep clubs within Obalende-Ikoyi Local Council Development Area, LCDA busy.

“Apart from keeping our clubs busy, we also want to select good players that we will like to recommend to professional clubs in Nigeria and possibly send them for trials abroad. The competition will be keenly contested because all the participating teams have prepared very well ahead of this competition,” he said.

A representative of Golden Penny Nigeria Plc, Osimetta Seidu Muhammed said the company is associating with the organisers because of it is committed to sports development in Lagos State.

He charged the participating teams to abide by the rules and regulations of the tournament.

He disclosed that Golden Penny will reward outstanding players and give prize money and trophy to the winners.

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Kaduna to host Nigeria/Egypt AFCON qualifier http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/25/kaduna-to-host-nigeriaegypt-afcon-qualifier/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/25/kaduna-to-host-nigeriaegypt-afcon-qualifier/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 04:40:40 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=243923 Super Eagles

Super Eagles

The Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna state will host the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying match between the Super Eagles and the Pharaohs of Egypt.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Wednesday on its website said the match is scheduled for Wednesday, March 23, 2016.

It however said officials have also confirmed that work would be undertaken on the stadium’s pitch, and a couple of other areas which need to be improved before the match.

Nigeria and Egypt share top spot on the Group G table of the qualifiers, with the Pharaohs ahead on a one-goal advantage.

They had whipped Tanzania’s Taifa Stars 3-0 in Cairo in penultimate weekend’s opening matches, a day after the Super Eagles beat Chad 2-0 in Kaduna.

The Eagles’ next match in the series is away to Tanzania in the first week of September, before the visit to the Pharaohs two weeks later.

Egypt have missed all last three AFCON finals, including the 2013 finals which Nigeria won in South Africa.

Meanwhile, the NFF General Secretary, Mohammed Sanusi, has said the Federation would henceforth decide international match venues well in advance.

“This is in order to afford host cities enough time to work on the facilities to be used for such matches,” the website quoted him as saying.

In line with the new policy, the NFF has also announced the date for the first leg tie of the 2016 Olympic Games qualifying fixture between Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea.

The match against the Equatorial Guinean senior women national team will come up on July 18 in Port Harcourt.

Following the withdrawal of Mali in the second round, the Super Falcons now have two rounds of qualifying fixtures to prosecute before qualification.

Qualification will see them in the Women’s Football Tournament of next year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The Nigerian girls have played at three previous Olympics – 2000, 2004 and 2008.

Also, the African Under-23 Championship final round first leg match between the Nigerian under-23 male team and their Congolese counterparts will be played in Port Harcourt.

It will hold on July 19, a day after the Falcons/Equatorial Guinea clash.

The winner of the fixture qualifies for the African U-23 Championship coming up in Senegal in December.

The best three of the eight participating teams will be eligible to represent Africa at the Men’s Football Tournament of next year’s Olympics.

The fourth–placed team in Senegal will play-off against a team from Asia.

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Keshi to face NFF disciplinary committee for applying for Ivory Coast job http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/23/keshi-to-face-nff-disciplinary-committee-for-applying-for-ivory-coast-job/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/23/keshi-to-face-nff-disciplinary-committee-for-applying-for-ivory-coast-job/#comments Tue, 23 Jun 2015 07:50:33 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=243690 Coach Stephen Keshi

Coach Stephen Keshi

Stephen Keshi, the Super Eagles’ Head Coach, on Monday said his appearance before the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Disciplinary Committee would not deter him from doing his job.

NAN recalls that NFF had summoned Keshi to appear before its disciplinary committee on June 23.

He was expected to explain circumstances surrounding his inclusion in a job shortlist in Cote d’ Ivoire.

The Ivorian Football Federation (FIF) had announced on Friday it received 59 applications, including that of Keshi, in the move to get a replacement for Herve Renard.

NAN reports that the Frenchman is the Head Coach of the Ivorien senior national team.

However, Keshi who signed a fresh two-year deal with the NFF in April to handle the Eagles, told NAN in Abuja that he knew nothing about the application.

“I did not apply for anything. I don’t know how it managed to get there.

“I will appear before the committee to explain and there is no way it will deter me from serving my country or doing my job,” he said.

The coach said it was normal for anybody to appear before such a committee to clarify issues of such magnitude.

NAN reports that Super Eagles goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama and teammate Ogenyi Onazi are also expected to appear before the committee.

Enyeama will appear to defend a statement credited to him concerning the safety and security of players following NFF’s choice of Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna for their match against Chad.

His summon followed his inability to reply within 48 hours a query from the NFF regarding his comment.

Similarly, Onazi, the recipient of a red card in the June 13 AFCON qualifier, was mandated to produce a written apology to the NFF after paying a 5,000 dollars fine.

The apology letter is also expected on June 23 during the committee’s sitting.

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NFF Disciplinary Committee Summons Enyeama, Onazi fined http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/20/nff-disciplinary-committee-summons-enyeama-onazi-fined/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/20/nff-disciplinary-committee-summons-enyeama-onazi-fined/#comments Sat, 20 Jun 2015 19:49:02 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=243465 Vincent Enyeama

Vincent Enyeama

The Disciplinary Committee of Nigeria Football Federation, NFF has summoned Super Eagles’ goalkeeper and skipper Vincent Enyeama to appear before it on Tuesday, 23 June, 2015.

The Lille OSC of France goaltender is being invited to explain his unguarded statement against the NFF’s choice of Kaduna for Nigeria’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against Chad on Saturday, 13th June.

The committee, headed by Barrister Chris Green, wrote: “You will recall that you were queried by the Nigeria Football Federation for your uncomplimentary remarks with regards to safety and security in Kaduna State, host of the Nations Cup qualifying match between Nigeria and Chad Republic.

“You received the query letter on June 13, 2015 and refused to reply to the query up till now, which is well over the 48 hours deadline given to you to reply to the query. Consequently, the NFF has referred the matter to the Disciplinary Committee for adjudication.

“You are by this, invited to appear before the Disciplinary Committee of Nigeria Football Federation sitting on Tuesday, 23 June, 2015 at the Federation’s Secretariat in Abuja. The committee sitting will commence at 11:00 am prompt.”

In a related development, midfielder Ogenyi Onazi, who earned a straight red card for an act of retaliation during the said match, has been issued a letter of reprimand, ordered to produce a written apology and fined the sum of $5,000.

In a letter signed by Tunde Aderibigbe on behalf of the General Secretary and dated 19 June, the NFF wrote: “The Board of the Nigeria Football Federation has viewed your behavior and conduct during the Nigeria/Chad match as tantamount to gross indiscipline and unprofessional, which undermined the discipline of the team in its totality and a breach of ethics for players as well as the Code of Conduct for players and officials.

“Consequently, the NFF having reviewed the situation hereby impose a fine of $5,000 on you as well as a written apology. We believe that subsequently you will be of good behavior and conduct, for a repeat of this behavior shall earn you even stiffer punishment.

“We hope that this action shall serve as a deterrent to others in our future engagements.”

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CAF bans Onazi for 2 matches http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/17/caf-bans-onazi-for-2-matches/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/17/caf-bans-onazi-for-2-matches/#comments Wed, 17 Jun 2015 19:14:22 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=243092 Ogenyi Onazi

Ogenyi Onazi

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has slammed a two-match ban on Super Eagles’ midfielder Ogenyi Onazi over his sending-off in Saturday’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Chad.

The SS Lazio playmaker, who has been a regular in the team’s midfield in the past few years, was shown a straight red card for retaliation.

He committed the act after Nigerien referee Ibrahim Mamane awarded Nigeria a penalty kick for a foul on striker Odion Ighalo.

A report on the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) website on Wednesday said news of the ban was conveyed to the Federation in a circular sent to it from the CAF Secretariat.

It had stated that the ban was for the “violent conduct” for which Onazi was expelled.

The development means the Italy-based player is automatically suspended for his next two official matches.

These are: Tanzania versus Nigeria, and Nigeria versus Egypt.

Nigeria will visit Tanzania in Dar es Salaam on Sept. 5 on Match Day 2 of the qualifiers, and will then host Egypt on March 25, 2016.

NAN reports that Onazi was a silver medal winner when Nigeria hosted the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2009.

He also won gold medal with the Super Eagles at the 2013 AFCON in South Africa.

The midfielder was also in the Nigeria squad which reached the Round of 16 at the FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil last year.

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We have had great experience, says Edwin Okon http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/17/we-have-had-great-experience-says-edwin-okon/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/17/we-have-had-great-experience-says-edwin-okon/#comments Wed, 17 Jun 2015 08:49:05 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=243050 Edwin Okon, coach of Super Falcons

Edwin Okon, coach of Super Falcons

Coach Edwin Okon says the Super Falcons have learnt invaluable lessons with their ouster from the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada.

Okon, while speaking at the post-match news conference, said the team had gained experience at the competition.

NAN recalls that the Falcons lost 0-1 to the U.S. in Vancouver on Tuesday in their final Group D game to crash out of the competition.

They ended up with one point from one draw and two losses in three matches, after scoring three goals and conceding six.

“It was a great experience for us here in Canada,” Okon said.

He however said his team lost focus, and the US only needed to hold on to their lead after Nigeria were reduced to 10 players later on during the match.

“We weren’t focused enough in a few situations today (Tuesday). And, I wasn’t surprised to see the U.S. make substitutions that were more defensive after our sending-off as they knew they were playing a good team.

“You always have a 50-50 chance in every game. Today (Tuesday), the US made the most of one of their chances and we didn’t, even though we had several,” the coach said.

NAN reports that the Falcons had earlier drawn 3-3 with Sweden and lost 0-2 to Australia.

Meanwhile, the coach of the U.S. Jill Ellis, has praised the Nigerian side for their efforts, saying his team however rose to the occasion to maintain their dominance over the Falcons.

“Nigeria gave us a good fight, as expected. They’re a dangerous team. I’m happy with the way we played both with and without the ball.

“We can attack with confidence if we have a good backline. It’s a shame we only scored one goal but we’re very happy to finish top of a difficult group,” the coach said.

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Nigerians blast Edwin Okon for refusing to shake US coach http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/17/nigerians-blast-edwin-okon-for-refusing-to-shake-us-coach/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/17/nigerians-blast-edwin-okon-for-refusing-to-shake-us-coach/#comments Wed, 17 Jun 2015 02:57:48 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=243010 Edwin Okon, coach of Super Falcons

Edwin Okon, coach of Super Falcons

Edwin Okon, coach of the Super Falcons has come under fierce criticism after his unprofessional attitude following his team’s 1-0 loss to the United States at the ongoing Womens World Cup in Canada.

An Abby Wambach volley seconds before half-time earned USA a 1-0 victory over Nigeria in Vancouver, sending the Americans through as Group D winners and Nigerians home.

After the game, Okon refused to shake hands with US coach Jill Ellis and immediately got a backlash from football fans across the globe especially Nigerians who were grossly disappointed by his action.

Reacting on Twitter, Omono wrote: “Edwin Okon did a very unprofessional and immature act of ignoring Jill Ellis’ handshake. That’s why Nigeria will never grow.”

Lolade Adewuyi, Goal.com Nigeria editor was more critical of Okon’s action. “This coach Edwin Okon really fooled himself in front of the whole world. @thenff must learn not to employ misfits,” he wrote, adding that, “Edwin Okon, in typical #NGA fashion, blames the loss to #USA on the referee. Piss poor attitude.”

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Abby Wambach’s volley keeps USA top, sends Super Falcons home http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/17/abby-wambachs-volley-keeps-usa-top-sends-super-falcons-home/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/17/abby-wambachs-volley-keeps-usa-top-sends-super-falcons-home/#comments Wed, 17 Jun 2015 02:26:46 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=242999 USA

An Abby Wambach volley seconds before half-time earned USA a 1-0 victory over Nigeria in Vancouver, which sent them through as Group D winners and eliminated their opponents.

A well balanced first 45 minutes finally fell in the Americans’ favour when Wambach struck Megan Rapinoe’s corner home at the far post.

Earlier, Julie Johnston thought she gave the Stars and Stripes the lead, but her finish was ruled offside. Asisat Oshoala had the best chance for Nigeria 24 minutes in, but Johnston executed a perfectly timed tackle to interrupt the African’s shot.

Rapinoe threatened Dede’s goal twice from long range, and Alex Morgan nearly doubled the Americans’ lead just after the interval but couldn’t lift it over the Super Falcons No1. Dede once again denied the American No13 with 30 minutes remaining.

Things became harder for Nigeria in the 69th minute, when Sarah NNodim picked up her second yellow card as a result of bringing down Sydney Leroux just outside the area. With their numerical advantage intact, USA kept possession well, with smart, experienced play delighting a significant majority of the 52,193 crowd at BC Place.

Culled from FIFA.com

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FIFA bans Super Falcons’ Njoku for three games http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/15/fifa-bans-super-falcons-njoku-for-three-games/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/15/fifa-bans-super-falcons-njoku-for-three-games/#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2015 11:45:15 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=242782 Australia's Kyah Simon (17) and Nigeria's Ugo Njoku (15) vie for the ball

Australia’s Kyah Simon (17) and Nigeria’s Ugo Njoku (15) vie for the ball

June 15 (Reuters) – Nigeria defender Ugo Njoku has been banned for three games for lashing out at Australia’s Samantha Kerr with her elbow during her side’s 2-0 defeat in their World Cup Group D match in Winnipeg.

The offence by Njoku, who came on as a 52nd-minute substitute, went unpunished during the game but FIFA’s disciplinary committee later examined the video footage and handed her the ban.

With Nigeria unlikely to progress in the tournament, Njoku will miss the final group game against the United States plus the country’s next two official matches.

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I’m not blaming Onazi, I would have done worse, says Keshi http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/14/im-not-blaming-onazi-i-would-have-done-worse-says-keshi/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/14/im-not-blaming-onazi-i-would-have-done-worse-says-keshi/#comments Sun, 14 Jun 2015 07:52:43 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=242668 Coach Stephen Keshi

Coach Stephen Keshi

Super Eagles head coach, Stephen Keshi, on Saturday in Kaduna said he would have reacted in a more ferocious manner if he was in the shoes of midfielder, Ogenyi Onazi.

Keshi said he was not going to blame him for his reckless actions that forced the referee to show him a straight red card, leaving Nigeria to finish with 10 men against Chad in an African Cup of Nations qualifier played at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna state.

“I m not blaming Onazi for his action. I would have probably done worse if I were in his shoes,” Keshi said, absolving the player of any blame in the incident, even though he acknowledged that he should not have retaliated.

“But we will likely miss him for two or three matches, because it was a straight red card,” he added.

Speaking on his team’s performance, he said he confident that the team would do well in future matches. “We are not making up excuses. Rather, it is a fact that this is a new team, and we will need to play together for some time to get things right.

“But I have a lot of confidence in this team, and we will continue to re-build in order to get better,” he said.

NAN reports that the Super Eagles had to overcome an average first half performance to win the 2017 AFCON qualifier.

A commanding second half performance however resulted in two goals to ensure the game’s full points were in the kitty at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium.

Keshi said the team’s first half performance was lethargic because he had three new defenders and needed to study their quality of play to make the team stronger.

He however said the team’s defenceline was powerful and expressed the hope of working more on the team for proper blending.

The head coach expressed satisfaction with the team’s victory, saying they played to instructions, exhibited good discipline and did all they practised at training.

“The game was competitive, but I am happy we came out victorious because that will enhance our performance in our next match.

“In the first half, there were a lot of precautions, mistakes and anxieties. But after the half-time we had to make the substitutions, and those of Rabiu and Odion changed the game for us and led us to victory,” he said.

Speaking on Aaron Samuel’s injury, the coach said the striker had a muscle tear which he and his technical crew colleagues hoped was not pronounced.

“We can’t say much on that for now, until we have a scan,” he said.

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Salami, Ighalo strike as Nigeria downs Chad http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/13/salami-ighalo-strike-as-nigeria-downs-chad/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/13/salami-ighalo-strike-as-nigeria-downs-chad/#comments Sat, 13 Jun 2015 17:09:08 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=242616 Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi

Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi

Super Eagles on Saturday in Kaduna overcame a below par first half performance to beat Chad 2-0 in a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Qualifier.

A commanding second half performance resulted in two goals to ensure the game’s full points were in the kitty at the Ahmadu Belo Stadium which was filled to capacity.

The Eagles started the match with a lethargic performance which saw the Chadians taking control and troubling the Nigerian defence through Casimir Ninga and team captain Ezechiel Ndouassel.

But they only had two corner kicks to show for their efforts, in the ninth and 17th minutes, with Kenneth Omeruo and William Ekong looking strong in the middle.

With Kingsley Madu and Leon Balogun looking brilliant on the flanks, the Nigerian defence pushed back to prop the midfield trio of Ogenyi Onazi, Babatunde Michael and Anderson Esiti.

However, it still needed the aggression of Ahmed Musa, Aaron Samuel and Gbolahan Salami to get the Eagles into their stride.

Musa saw his free kick from about 30 metres out tipped over by goalkeeper Dillah Mbairamadji in the 22nd minute.

Balogun’s header to Musa’s corner kick 10 minutes later was also wide by inches, while Salami’s effort was cleared off the line in the 34th minute.

This was after Balogun’s upfield pass, after he repulsed a left wing offensive, met a running Madu who flicked onto Salami’s path an inviting pass.

The Chadians had the best of the first half scoring chances in the 38th minute, when Ndouassel went close with a low shot to goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama’s right.

But the Nigerian captain was quick to push it away for a respite which gave for much of their second half confidence.

Onazi gave the Chadians an inkling of what to expect nine minutes into the second half with his free kick from about 20 metres out on the right.

While it hit the base of the far upright, Salami was more clinical in the 61st minute when he charged into the Chadians’ penalty area on the right.

He lifted a rising shot past goalkeeper Mbairamadji, who had no chance of stopping it anyway, for Nigeria’s first goal.

Rabiu Ibrahim, who substituted Michael in the 60th minute, and Odion Ighalo who came on for injured Samuel in the 62nd minute, brought more fluidity into the Nigerian game.

From there on, the eagles dictated the pace, with the Chadians’ introduction of Labbo Mahadat for Mbaian Darius in the 61st minute looking to having no telling effect.

Even with the Chadians continuing on with very robust challenges, which indeed earned them four yellow cards, the Super Eagles went on to enjoy their game with better passes.

It was however the Eagles who were reduced to 10 men in the 77th minute after a rash challenge by Onazi in retaliation, even after a penalty kick was awarded his team.

Ighalo, who was brought down by Asselmo Kilioutou some seconds earlier, rose to score the penalty kick with a hard low shot under the goalkeeper for the second goal.

The Chadians threw more men into the game thereafter, with Dany Karl-Max and Beadoum Nonde coming on for Casimir and Morgan Betorangal in the 83rd and 85th minutes respectively.

But the Eagles held on tight for victory, something to hold on to before they visit Tanzania in their second game of the qualifiers.

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Falcons lose to Australia http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/13/falcons-lose-to-australia/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/13/falcons-lose-to-australia/#comments Fri, 12 Jun 2015 23:14:48 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=242539 Australia's Simon Kyah celebrates scoring against Nigeria

Australia’s Simon Kyah celebrates scoring against Nigeria

A brace by Kyah Simon was all Australia needed to overcome Nigeria’s Super Falcons in their second match in Group D, held at Winnipeg Stadium Friday.

Simon struck at each half, in the 29th and 68th minute, with the Nigerian ladies unable to respond.

Efforts made by strikers Asisat Oshoala, Desire Oparanozie, to draw level were all off target as the Nigerians were unable to stage a comeback as they did against Sweden on Monday.

Australians celebrate

Both strikers were substituted by Coach Edwin Okon, with Desire being replaced by Perpetua Nkwocha in the 54th minute and Courtney Dike replacing Oshoala in the 84th minute.

The Nigerian girls will need to beat USA in their last match in the Group called the Group of Death to have a chance to qualify to the next stage of the competition in Canada.

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My players lost concentration, says Manu Garba http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/11/my-players-lost-concentration-says-manu-garba/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/11/my-players-lost-concentration-says-manu-garba/#comments Thu, 11 Jun 2015 11:37:25 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=242284 Manu Garba

Manu Garba

Coach Manu Garba on Thursday said the Flying Eagles have learnt a lot from the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in New Zealand, after crashing out in the Round of 16.

NAN reports that the Nigerian side lost 0-1 to Germany in their Round of 16 clash in Christchurch on Thursday to exit the competition.

However, Garba who is the team’s Head Coach said the whole competition had been a big lesson to the team, especially in not losing concentration when it mattered.

“I believe that our players learnt a lot from this game and a big lesson in general from the tournament.

“The level at the under-20s is far higher than at the under-17s, and Germany are a very tough and highly tactical team.

“Our players lost concentration at the crucial moment and this gave the Germans a chance to score,” he said at the post-match news conference.

The coach nonetheless praised goalkeeper Joshua Enaholo, saying he played a great game.

“He may have saved that ball (which resulted in the game’s lone goal) if he had a clear view, but there is nothing we can do now,” he said.

Garba was however not singling out the goalkeeper for praise, saying “all my players have been in great form and I am proud of them all.”

Looking back at the competition as a whole, the Nigerian coach said there had been so many unexpected results at the tournament, and one could never predict the winner.

Speaking also, the coach of Germany, Frank Wormuth, said he admired the Nigerian side, especially as they were very good technically, which makes them extremely difficult to play against.

He however said his team was able to keep the ball under pressure and it was their only chance to break through the Nigerian defence.

“In the end, I give congratulations to my team for finding the answer to the problems Nigeria posed us. They deserved the win and I am very impressed with them.

“I am especially proud of my team’s defence today (Thursday),” the coach said.

On their next opponents, Wormuth exuded confidence in the abilities of his team to advance to the semi-finals.

“Of course our aim is to get to the final in Auckland. But to get there we must go step to step and our next step is Mali. The German mentality is to always think this way.

“I expect Mali to play in quite a similar way to what we saw today (Thursday) from Nigeria,’’ he said.

NAN reports that Germany will in the quarter-finals on Sunday in Christchurch take on Mali, who had earlier beaten fellow Africans Ghana in the Round of 16.

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Flying Eagles lose 1-0 to Germany, crash out of U-20 World Cup http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/11/flying-eagles-lose-1-0-to-germany-crash-out-of-u-20-world-cup/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/11/flying-eagles-lose-1-0-to-germany-crash-out-of-u-20-world-cup/#comments Thu, 11 Jun 2015 09:30:51 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=242263 Levin Mete Oztunali

Levin Oztunali’s first half goal was enough to take Germany through to the quarter-finals of the FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand on Thursday at the expense of Nigeria.

A match report on fifa.com indicated that Germany were deserved winners against the Group E runners-up.

But while the Flying Eagles could not be faulted for effort, their inability to create meaningful scoring chances proved to be their undoing.

Prior to the game, it was expected that Germany would attempt to build their attacks by retaining the ball, with Nigeria utilising the counter-attack.

This manifested itself during the opening 45 minutes.

Yet, for all of the Europeans’ possession, the first real chance of the game came from a set piece.

Marc Stendera’s corner kick from the right was looking for Stark, but Onyinye Ndidi’s attempted clearance spun narrowly wide of the near post.

The Flying Eagles were looking for opportunity to break and found one shortly after the quarter-hour when Taiwo Awoniyi broke down the right.

He delivered a low cross into the box which Saviour Godwin almost reached.

Germany took the lead in the 19th minute, when Stendera’s pressure on Kingsley Sokari led to him stealing the ball just outside the Flying Eagles’ box.

He found Levin Oztunali at the edge of the penalty box and the grandson of the legendary Uwe Seeler fired a powerful left-footed shot home.

Germany could have — and probably should have — doubled their advantage later in the half, when a cross from their captain Kevin
Akpoguma found Hany Mukhtar lurking.

But the ball came off his shoulder and Joshua Enaholo was able to save comfortably.

The Group F winners finished the half strongly as Stendera forced Enaholo into two fine saves from close range.

Stendera was at the heart of proceedings for Germany yet again when the second half commenced.

He brought the ball from deep, found Julian Brandt who played the ball to Mukhtar.

The Benfica forward elected to shoot rather than play the back to Stendera and he fired tamely wide.

Mukhtar had another good chance on the hour after some great skill from Oztunali down the right.

But he was not able to get any real power behind his shot and Enaholo was out to save smartly.

Germany withdrew goalscorer Stendera and Julian Brant midway through the second half and the changes seemed to have more of a positive effect on the Nigerian side.

Frank Wormuth’s side soon found themselves camped in their own half, with Success Isaac leading the charge forward, although Marvin Schwabe was not really forced into a save.

The situation was however down to the fact that the Flying Eagles were not helped by some poor delivery from set-pieces.

Ultimately, the Germans hung on to book a quarter-final clash with Mali and stay back in Christchurch, while Nigeria’s Flying Eagles head home.

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Akpabio, my wife stopped my retiring, says Enyeama http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/09/akpabio-my-wife-stopped-my-retiring-says-enyeama/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/09/akpabio-my-wife-stopped-my-retiring-says-enyeama/#comments Tue, 09 Jun 2015 06:04:26 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=241980 Vincent Enyeama

Vincent Enyeama

Super Eagles Goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama, says Godswill Akpabio, immediate past governor of Akwa Ibom, prevented him from retiring from the team after it failed to qualify for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Enyeama who said he would after AFCON 2017, told NAN in Abuja that his wife and pastor also prevailed on him to drop the plan.

“I actually wanted to stop, it wasn’t a rumour. Nigeria is blessed with great goalkeepers, just that we need to give them confidence.

“Nobody gave me a chance when I started, I was a rookie also; I belt it up, I worked hard for it and became the big person that nobody wants to lose.

“What changed my mind was the passion of Nigerians; I had a lot of calls, my governor, Akpabio.

“A lot of people talked with me. These things, you don’t just ignore and my wife also talked with me.

“My wife didn’t want me to leave yet. I talked to my pastor and he said if everybody said stay, why not; so I decided to continue, but then, there is going to be a time to call it quit.”

Enyeama, who is also the Super Eagles captain, said that the reason why he wanted to retire from the national team was to give other goalkeepers the chance to develop themselves.

He said that he had been in the scene since 2002, adding that there was every reason for him to give way for others to take over.

The Eagles goalkeeper, however, said that 2017 AFCON finals would be his last outing for Nigeria, saying that everybody around him were now in support of his 2017 plan.

“I can’t keep doing the same thing forever; there is going to be a time I have to stop and give it up to some other person.

“I am the only face here since 2002, but 2017 Nations Cup finals will be my last game; I just said my target, anything can happen after.”

According to him, the likes of Daniel Akpeyi are capable of taking over the responsibility.

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Comeback Queens: Super Falcons force Sweden to 3-3 draw http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/08/comeback-queens-super-falcons-force-sweden-to-3-3-draw/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/08/comeback-queens-super-falcons-force-sweden-to-3-3-draw/#comments Mon, 08 Jun 2015 22:09:23 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=241963 Super Falcons

Super Falcons of Nigeria showed they are ready to compete at the biggest stage and against the biggest sides after they forced Sweden to a 3-3 draw in their opening group match at the Women’s World Cup taking place in Canada.

Sweden recorded the first goal on the 21st minute at the Winnipeg Stadium, Winnipeg via an own goal by Nigerian striker, Desire Oparanozie, who deflected a somewhat harmless header by Swedish player, Emma Berglund, into the Nigeria net. The ball had come to Berglund from a corner kick.

Sweden’s Nilla Fischer increased the tally 10 minutes after, again via sloppy defending by the Nigerians, after the Swedes took another corner kick. Nilla Fischer was able to tap in to an empty net after the ball made its way through the crowd.

Nigeria’s forward line refused to go quiet, however, and just after the break two goals in quick succession levelled matters. Ngozi Okobi’s brilliant first touch afforded the No 13 plenty of room and space before coolly firing past Hedvig Lindah.

Three minutes later, Asisat Oshoala, the golden shoe winner at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014 opened her account for this tournament with a fine individual effort after a well-played long ball from Onome Ebi.

Sembrant handed the lead back to Sweden after good build-up play on the left side resulted in Lina Nilsson’s cross that the substitute managed to direct past Precious Dede with her thigh.

The pressure mounted by the Nigerians to share the points with Sweden finally paid off when midfielder Francisca Ordega collected a pass well inside the box from Oshoala and wasted no effort in slicing it through the legs of the Swedish keeper.

The Super Falcons, having never beaten Sweden on their three previous meetings, came out flying in the first few minutes and had the Swedes on the back foot for much of the first quarter of an hour.

However, Ordega salvaged a point for the Super Falcons three minutes from time with a shot that managed to slip through the legs of Lindahl, leaving matters level at 3-3.

Nigeria had never beaten Sweden in their past three encounters and today’s result was a good one, in comparison.

At the end of the game, FIFA’s Technical Study Group (TSG) named Nigerian forward, Ngozi Okobi, who scored Falcons’ first goal as Live Your Goals Player of the Match.

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Awoniyi brace sets up Nigeria vs Germany showdown http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/07/awoniyi-brace-sets-up-nigeria-vs-germany-showdown/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/07/awoniyi-brace-sets-up-nigeria-vs-germany-showdown/#comments Sun, 07 Jun 2015 07:32:19 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=241791 Taiwo Awoniyi

Nigeria have set up a mouth-watering last-16 meeting with Germany after beating Hungary 2-0 to leapfrog the Magyars into second place in Group E.

The Hungarians still qualify, though, as one of the best third-placed teams and will now kick off the knockout phase against Group D winners Serbia in Dunedin. Nonetheless, they were well beaten at New Plymouth’s Taranaki Stadium, with Taiwo Awoniyi’s brace no more than the African champions deserved for their overall dominance.

Manu Garba’s charges were the better side throughout, nullifying four-goal forward Bence Mervo and providing a constant threat at the other end. They would have taken the lead as early as the 16th minute but for an incredible save from Gyorgy Szekely, who stuck out a strong right hand to beat away Awoniyi’s powerful close range header.

The Hungary keeper was merely delaying the inevitable though and was helpless to prevent the deadlock being broken 17 minutes later. Awoniyi was the scorer, ghosting away from his marker to volley in at the near post from Saviour Godwin’s teasing low cross.

The Europeans rarely threatened a comeback but did produce one effort of note a few minutes into the second half. Mario Nemeth was just a couple of inches away from a wonder goal, in fact, having taken aim from 30 yards and rattled the crossbar with Joshua Enaholo beaten.

However, the points – and second place – were secured in the 54th minutes when Awoniyi doubled his and tally. It was a goal that neither Attila Osvath or Akos Kecskes will want to watch again, with the Hungary duo having both gone up for the same header at the halfway line, collided and missed the ball entirely.

Awoniyi could hardly believe his luck and, though he still had some work to do, he did it in style, dribbling past a covering defender before rounding Szekely and tucking the ball into the unguarded net.

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