Ikechukwu Ezenwa, who captained Nigeria’s Africa Nations Championship squad that eliminated Benin Republic penultimate weekend to qualify for next year’s continental finals in Kenya, will start in goal for the Super Eagles against Cameroon in Friday’s 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying cracker in Uyo.
The disclosure was made at the team’s press conference held at the Ibom Meridien Hotel, in Uyo, yesterday.
South Africa –based goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi, who was in goal for the team’s 3-1 win over Algeria at the same venue, has finally been ruled out of action as a result of injury and in his place, former schoolboy international and Plateau Utd keeper, Dele Ajiboye, has been called.
As at Wednesday afternoon, there had been no definite word from the Cameroonians to the Nigeria Football Federation as to their arrival time or mode of transport into Nigeria.
Friday’s showdown at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium will kick off by 6pm.
…Eagles offer support to ill Ikeme
Coach Gernot Rohr’s men have said that their thoughts are with the Wolverhampton Wanderers’ goalkeeper as he continues his cancer battle.
The Super Eagles players showed support for Carl Ikeme with a customised T-shirt during Wednesday’s media parley.
The 31-year-old has been Super Eagles first-choice since making his debut on September 5 against Tanzania but his place in Gernot Rohr’s squad was dealt a blow when he was diagnosed with cancer.
According to Rohr, the team will play for the 31-year-old when they face Cameroon in Friday’s FIFA World Cup qualifier.
“We put on the T-shirt to show solidarity to our teammate (Ikeme). We want to show him that we are with him and to tell him to be strong. Against Cameroon, all of us will play for him,” Rohr told the media.
…Cameroon supporters to storm Uyo in 2 chartered flights
Supporters of the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon have concluded plans to mobilise about 350 of their members to hit Uyo, venue of Friday’s all-important World Cup qualifier against the Super Eagles of Nigeria, according to reports in the Cameroonian media. According to a report in Cameroon-info.net, the supporters intend coming enmasse to Nigeria on Friday to ensure victory for their team which will be involved in a crucial match against the Super Eagles.
Quoting Cameroon Tribune sources, the online portal claims the Federation of Indomitable Lions supporters planned a “mobilization trip”, in the words of its president, Éric Sielinou in order to counter the effectiveness of the home support that the Super Eagles will get from their fans.
Two charters have reportedly being scheduled from Douala on the day of the match to fly the 140 people already registered to travel by air while nearly 200 of those travelling by road have fixed departure for Thursday at midnight.
Cameroon and Nigeria clash in a double confrontation this Friday. The first match will be played in Uyo and the second in Yaoundé on Monday.
Drawn in Group B, Cameroon has two points and is four points away from Nigeria, the first in the group with 6 points.
In Yaoundé, the Indomitable Lions continued their preparation on Wednesday with two training sessions. Hugo Broos and his team have a must-win game on their hands and must get at least a draw in Nigeria and then beat the Super Eagles next Monday at home to stand a chance of qualification for the next World Cup.