‎Home Eagles To Be Hosted By The President In Abuja

President Muhammed Buhari will host The home-based Super Eagles who won the  silver at the 2018 African Nations Championship will on Wednesday be hosted by the President Muhammed Buhari. The tournament ended last Sunday in Casablanca, Morocco.

This information was released by top officials of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF).

The Home Eagles are set to arrive in Lagos Tuesday morning and on Wednesday, leave for Abuja where they will be received and hosted by the Federal Government.

Salisu Yusuf’s Home Eagles set a new one record at the tournament surpassing their third-place finish achieved in 2014 by reaching the final of the 2018 edition of the competition, but lost 4-0 to host Morocco.

Zakaria Hadraf scored a brace while Walid El Karti and the tournament top scorer, Ayoub El Kaabi also got on the score sheet to secure the title for Morocco on Sunday at the expense of a 10-man Nigeria team

 

CHAN: Nigeria’s Second Half Comeback Saves The Day

The Super Eagles of Nigeria defeated their counterpart  Equitorial Guinea by  a three goals to one margin. Salisu’s men replied the opener of  Secundino Eyama’s decent header with a three goals in the second half of the game.

The Nigerian team who are also favorites ended up winning the game bouncing back from a goal behind to beat Equatorial Guinea 3-1 in their last Group C game on Tuesday.

Nigeria coach Salisu Yusuf after the blow of Secundino Eyama Nsi’s first half strike, made tactical changes that effected change as Anthony Okpotu, Dayo Ojo and substitute Rabiu Ali found the net to secure victory in Stade Adrar, Agadir.

Rodolfo Bodipo’s side took an unlikely 40th-minute lead as Super Eagles were caught flat-footed as Nsi powered in Miguel Ángel Mayé’s corner.

Although that was the Nzalang Nacional’s only shot of the opening period, it took Yusuf’s men – who needed a draw to book a last eight ticket – until the 58th minute to forge a breakthrough as Okpotu coolly headed in his first goal in the competition.

Sunshine Star’s Ojo then put the Super Eagles ahead with his long-range effort to the relief of the technical crew thanks to Ali’s assist.

And Ali soon sealed victory in the 83rd minute from the penalty spot after Okpotu was recklessly brought down by captain Cosme Anvene, leaving fans celebrating maniacally as the Stade Adrar fell to a stunned silence.

The two-goal advantage was untroubled for the remainder of the encounter, though, as Nigeria clung on for their sixth CHAN win since 2014.

They face Group D’s runners-up in Sunday’s quarter-final fixture at Stade Ibn Batouta, Tangier for a place in the last four.

Rwanda Coach Hopes For Fully Fit Squad For CHAN

Rwanda coach Antoine Hey hopes his team will avoid injuries as they continue their build-up to the African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Morocco which will be held from 13 January to 4 February.

The Amavubi are in Group C along with Nigeria, Libya and Equatorial Guinea.

Hey’s charges arrived in Sousse, Tunisia on Tuesday after a long trip from Kigali via Doha for a week camping exercise before jetting off to Morocco for CHAN 2018.

They are due to play friendly matches against Sudan, Namibia and Algeria while in Tunisia.

“The players arrived on Tuesday after a very long trip from Kigali via Doha. The trip was very tiring, so we couldn’t train. We just reached the hotel, getting used to the environment, held a short meeting,” Hey told the Rwanda Football Federation official website.

“On Wednesday, we had two training sessions, and we will continue on Thursday and Friday, then play the arranged friendly matches on Saturday against Sudan and on Sunday, we will play against Namibia behind closed doors before playing the most important friendly match against Algeria next Wednesday, January 10.

“We have all players ready, no injuries, no worries. The atmosphere in camp is as usual, very disciplined and focused and professional. We have one week of fully preparing our side, all players will get playing time in all the friendlies we will play.

“We hope that we don’t get injuries or setbacks as we work on our final pieces of getting the team ready for CHAN tournament.”

Morocco To Replace Kenya As CHAN Hosts

Morocco will replace Kenya as hosts of the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN), organisers announced Sunday.

The emergency committee of the African Football Confederation (CAF) met Saturday in Lagos and unanimously decided to give Morocco the green light ahead of Equatorial Guinea. A third candidate, Ethiopia, was not considered because it did not provide a letter of guarantee from its government.

Original hosts Kenya fell behind with five-venue preparations for the biennial 16-team tournament, which runs from January 12-February 4, leading them to be stripped of the hosting rights last month.

Morocco have not hosted a senior CAF competition since the 1988 Africa Cup of Nations.

They were scheduled to stage the same event in 2015, but withdrew fearing visiting supporters could bring the deadly Ebola virus into the north African kingdom.

Equatorial Guinea successfully replaced Morocco at short notice, having co-hosted the Cup of Nations with Gabon three years earlier.

CHAN is restricted to home-based footballers, giving them international exposure otherwise largely denied because most African national squads are packed with professionals playing in Europe.

Kenya has Lost 2018 CHAN Hosting Rights

Kenya were stripped Saturday of the right to host the 2018 African Nations Championship after a CAF executive committee meeting in Accra.

The decision was announced at a media conference after a one-day meeting of the African football “cabinet” headed by president Ahmad Ahmad from Madagascar.

Slow preparations for the January 12/February 4 tournament led to a decision widely anticipated for several weeks.

A CAF inspection team departed Kenya in September to report that only one of the four venues was ready to stage the tournament restricted to home-based footballers.

Some CAF officials in Accra also expressed concern about the political situation in Kenya, where recently annulled presidential elections are set to be rerun late October.

It is the second time the regional economic powerhouse has lost the right to stage a CAF competition after being replaced by South Africa as 1996 Africa Cup of Nations hosts.

Kenya would have been the second successive east African country to stage the CHAN after Rwanda in 2016.

Other hosts since the 2009 inception of the Nations Championship were the Ivory Coast, Sudan and South Africa.

There has been media speculation that Morocco or South Africa may replace Kenya.

Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Sudan, Uganda and Zambia have qualified for the 2018 finals.

Kenya completed the line-up as the host nation — a position they now forfeit.

AFP

Adepoju Warns CHAN Eagles Against Complacency

Former Super Eagles star, Mutiu Adepoju has charged the CHAN Eagles to avoid any form of complacency when they battle Benin Republic in the second leg encounter of the 2018 CHAN qualifier this weekend.

Adepoju advised the CHAN Eagles to learn to take their chances at any point in the game if they desired to come out victorious in the game, adding that the West Africans would be approaching the match with antics that could ruin the game plan of the Nigerian side.

The former Racing Santander of Spain player, who noted that the standard of football in Africa has continued to improve over the years, called on the CHAN Eagles not to underestimate Benin Republic, saying that they are also eager to qualify for the prestigious continental championship against all odds.

“People should not blame the players for losing against Benin in the first leg because African football is now more competitive than before… every country need to step up their game to overcome the challenges ahead. But with team spirit and commitment, the Eagles would win the game.

“They have to be very tactical in their approach because their opponents are also coming with their game plan,’’ he said.

The Benin Republic team arrived in Lagos yesterday morning and was airlifted to Kano, where the game will hold tomorrow.

The Beninoise, who boasted that they would beat Nigeria again, said their ambition is to play in the CHAN in Kenya, adding that they have the ammunition to hold the Eagles in Kano.

But Super Eagles Media Officer, Toyin Ibitoye, has dismissed Benin Republic’s boats, saying the CHAN Eagles will take them to the cleaners tomorrow.

He said the players had been going through intensive training in their Kano camp since this week to correct the mistakes they made in the first leg.

“The players have assured the coaches of a fine performance this weekend. The team is ready to fly against their opponents,’’ he said.

 

 

Source: The Guardian

Mali, Congo Set For 2016 CHAN Final

Mali will face Democratic Republic of Congo in the final of CHAN 2016 after they beat Ivory Coast 1-0 in a thrilling semifinal thanks to Yves Bissouma’s 89th minute goal.

It was an end to end match and both sides had their chances to wrap up the game, but a youthful Mali side prevailed in the end.

Ivory Coast started the brighter of the two sides and in the 7th minute, a ball over the top was chased down by Guiza who almost created a half chance for himself.

A minute later Koffi hit a direct free kick for Ivory Coast, which was on target but Diarra saved comfortably in goal before Essis Aka fired in a quality long range shot, which rebounded off the Mali upright following a good passage of play by Ivory Coast.

In the 19th minute Ivory Coast went close again after Mali fumbled a free kick at the far post and just after the half hour mark Mali won a penalty after a hand ball in the area by Comara. But Coulibaly’s effort was tipped over the bar by the goalkeeper Badra.

Two big chances arrived for Mali in the 55th minute – first Abdoulaye Diarra and then Sissoko – but both saw their long range shots blocked on their way to goal.
Then, in the 58th, a great run by Sekou ended in a cross to Kouame but somehow the substitute missed the target from close range.
But it would be another substitute, Bissouma, who stole the show with an 89th minute goal to seal the deal and put Mali into the final.

His strike from close range showed composure following Sinayoko’s headed pass.

CHAN: Super Eagles To Face Tunisia’s Carthage Eagles By 2pm

It will be the battle of the Eagles today at the Stade de Kigali in Rwanda as Nigeria’s Super Eagles B tackle Tunisia’s Carthage Eagles in the second match of Group C.

An outright win by Nigeria will move them into the quarter –finals of the 4th African Nations Championship, to join hosts Rwanda and DR Congo who have qualified from Group B and Group A. Angola team have been eliminated already.

Centre referee for the Nigeria-Tunisia match will be Joshua Bondo from Botswana. He will be assisted by Oamogetse Godisamang, also from Botswana and Mothibidi Stevens Khumalo from South Africa.

Kick off for the crucial match will be 3pm Rwanda time, which is 2pm Nigerian time, according to CAF online. Niger and Guinea will play at 7pm.

Bronze medallists of the last edition, the Eagles started the championship with a 4-1 romp over Niger Republic and are expected to start on Friday from where they left off on Monday.

A hat –trick by Chisom Chikatara and one by Osas Okoro condemned the Mena to a poor start in the campaign, and shot the Eagles to top spot, after Tunisia and Guinea battled to a 2-2 draw.
The North Africans won the 2011 edition of the competition in Sudan five years ago.

Goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa is expected to start, with Etim Mathew, Kalu Orji, Stephen Eze and skipper Chima Akas in the defence, and Paul Onobi, Usman Mohammed and Ifeanyi Mathew in midfield. Osas Okoro, Chisoma Chikatara and Prince Aggrey are likely to be in attack for Nigeria.

A win will guarantee Nigeria’s place in the last eight, ahead of their last Group C match against Guinea in Gisenyi on Tuesday.