After so much apprehension, the Super Eagles finally booked the ticket for the 2019 African Nations Cup following a 1-1 draw with the Bafana Bafana of South Africa on Saturday. The Super Eagles with a 3-5-2 formation against their opponents appeared not too convincing enough despite some questionable calls by the centre referee.
With the draw, the Eagles retained the leadership of Group E with 10 points from five matches and will welcome the whipping boys, Seychelles in the final group game sometimes in March, 2019.
While most of the leagues were on international break, there were however actions in some lower and less fancied leagues across Europe.
In England, former Super Eagles invitee, Josh Maja took his tally for the season to 11 league goals for Sunderland to become the first teenager to score as many as 10 or more goals across various leagues in the country.
In yet another report, ADEBAYO OLODAN rates Super Eagles players’ performances against the South Africans plus updates across Europe and Africa on Nigerian players.
ENGLAND (LOWER LEAGUES)
Maja becomes first teenager to score 10 league goals in England
Josh Maja (Sunderland) & Fred Onyedinma (Wycombe Wanderers): The former Super Eagles invitee, Maja took his tally for the season to 11 goals in all competitions after finding the net in his team’s 1-1 draw with Wycombe Wanderers. On 67 min, a free-kick into the box was headed down into the path of Onyedinma, who lashed home to give the visitors the lead. Six minutes from time, Maja controlled a low cross inside the area before smacking home.
According to the statisticians at OPTA, Maja is the first teenager to score 10 league goals in the top four tiers of English league football this season.
Chuks Aneke (Milton Keynes Dons): He scored his seventh goal in nine games in the 2-0 defeat of Macclesfield Town. After a goalless first half, the Arsenal Academy product broke the deadlock in the 52nd minute, curling past goalkeeper O’Hara after receiving a pass on the edge of the box.
MK Dons are top of League Two with 37 points from 18 games courtesy of their win over Macclesfield Town.
I’m yet to commit future to Nigeria, England – Obafemi
Southampton striker, Michael Obafemi may have committed his international future to the Republic of Ireland, his country of birth, according to his intermediary, Playerworks CSM Agency.
There has been speculation over the national team that Obafemi will represent as he is also eligible to play for Nigeria through his parents and England, the country where he was raised.
The 18-year-old was a surprise inclusion in the latest Republic of Ireland senior squad after less than 30 minutes of game time for Southampton first team.
“Due to current speculation surrounding Michael Obafemi and as Michael’s representatives, we would like to go on record to say that we are not in talks with either Nigeria or England, nor is it something we have ever pursued,” Playerworks CSM said in a statement issued on behalf of Obafemi.
“Since Mark O’ Toole spotted Michale early on, he, along with the other staff at Ireland have given Michale a great opportunity, which he has enjoyed immensely.
“Michael was born in Ireland, so this is the country he naturally wants to play for.
“Martin O’Neill has shown great faith in Michael and he wants to repay that faith by helping the team achieve success.
Michael is 100 per cent committed to Ireland and is looking forward to an exciting future with the national team.”
Meanwhile, the Football Association of Ireland has published a photo on Twitter showing an Ireland jersey with Obafemi’s name and number 20 inscribed on it.
Falkenbourgs announces Nsima’s capture
Swedish club, Falkenbergs FF, has announced the signing of former Wikki Tourists of Bauch star, Peter Nsima.
The agreement between the club and player will see him remain on the books of the Falkenberg-based team until the end of the 2020 season.
Nsima last represented IK Frej and also lists Kristianstad and Varbergs BoIS among his former employers.
In his first words after signing the deal, Nsima said : “I think the team is playing really good football. I think the game will suit me very well. It’s my kind of football.
“I have been following the team for several years. I know that the team has played in the Allsvenskan before and that FFF is a hard working team. I already have some old teammates and friends in the club.”
Dominic Chatto and Chisom Egbuchulam played for Falkenbergs FF in the 2018 season.
Zesco signs Aladeokun on 2-yr deal
2018/19 CAF Champions League contenders, Zesco United FC has completed the signing of Quadri Kola Aladeokun on a two-year deal for a reported $150,000 from Eswatini side, Mbabane Swallows. Zesco has been on the trail of Aladeokun who scored three goals in the 2018 Champions League for about two weeks before he was eventually added to the squad.