Nigeria faces more injury concerns ahead Argentina clash


The duo of Ogenyi Onazi and Moses Simon are now doubtful for the 2018 World Cup qualifier against Algeria and the international friendly against Argentina, even as the Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr is considering replacing the injured Odion Ighalo with Olanrewaju Kayode.

The Eagles have already been hit by the withdrawal of China-based striker Odion Ighalo, who is nursing a knee injury, and he could now be joined on that list by Simon and Onazi, according to ScoreNigeria.

Officials had earlier said there will not be replacement for Ighalo but with the series of injuries that have plagued the team that will no longer be the case.

Eagles star Victor Moses was also not called up because he has been sidelined by a hamstring injury while in action for Premier League champions Chelsea.

“Kayode may now replace Ighalo more so that Moses Simon and Onazi are huge injury doubts,” SCORENigeria quoted an official.

Vice-captain Onazi has only recently returned from injury during last month’s World Cup clash against Zambia in Uyo.

Nigeria face hosts Algeria in a final 2018 World Cup qualifier on November 10 in Constantine and four days later they battle fellow World Cup finalists Argentina in a friendly in Russia.

Meanwhile, Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi will arrive in the Russian capital, Moscow, on Monday, November 6 to link up with the Argentinian national team ahead of their friendly matches against Russia and Nigeria.

The Argentina Football Association has published on its official website the date the players invited for both international matches will arrive in Moscow.

Fifteen players are expected on Monday, including Messi, Javier Mascherano, Manchester United’s Sergio Romero, and Manchester City pair Sergio Aguero and Nicolás Otamendi.

Ex-Manchester United winger ángel Di María will be among the last players to join the Argentina training camp in the Spartak complex on Tuesday, November 7.

La Albiceleste face Russia on November 11 before tackling Nigeria in a high-profile friendly in Krasnodar three days later.

The Super Eagles will train in Morocco before flying to Algeria for their final game of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.


…wins FIBA 3×3 Africa Cup 2017

Nigeria’s men and Mali’s women won the first edition of the FIBA 3×3 Africa Cup in Lomé, Togo on November 3-5, 2017.

Nigeria’s come-back in the last minute of the game fell short despite Nkem Akaraiwe and Josette Anaswem scoring 5 points apiece.

Just like Traore, Nigeria star Nkechi Akashili struggled in the final (1 point) but was named in the Team of the Tournament for her overall contribution at the Africa Cup. She finished third overall in scoring with 28 points.

The final member of the Team of the Tournament was the women’s top scorer, 20-year-old sniper Jamila Nansikombi, who scored no less than 44 points in 6 games and led Uganda to a much-deserved bronze medal in Togo.

Nigeria absolutely dominated the men’s category. They didn’t just have a clean 5-0 record, they won every single one of their games before the 10-minute limit. The final against Cote d’Ivoire was no exception.

The smallest man in a green uniform (6ft 2in, 1.88m), tournament MVP Azuoma Dike had a game-high 9 points in the final, including 2 shots from outside the arc and led Nigeria to a one-sided 21-9 win.

Meanwhile, Mali had a perfect 6-0 record in the covered outdoor venue of Stade Omnisport Eyadema de Lomé. But none of their 6 wins were more hard-fought than the final against Nigeria: a 12-11 thriller, where Mali top scorer Djeneba Ndiaye had a game-high 5 points.

Nassira Traore was limited to just 2 points in the final but the sharpshooter was a leader for Mali all week and was named MVP of the Tournament.

Cote d’Ivoire came out to play on Sunday and beat Mali in a 14-13 nail-biter in the quarter-finals and Madagascar in the semi-finals to take home the silver medal.

Their star, 28-year-old Cheick Tidiane Traore, earned a place in the Team of the Tournament next to Dike and tournament top scorer, 20-year-old Elly Randriamampionona, who spearheaded Madagascar’s third-place finish in Togo.

Randriamampionona wasn’t done yet: he also won gold at the Shoot-Out Contest, after beating out Mamadou Keita of Mali (silver) and Fatoumata Kone of Cote d’Ivoire (bronze) in the final.


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