Super Eagles Without Eight Stars For Cape Verde Clash


The Super Eagles will be without eight (8) stars for tomorrow’s Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifier against hosts, Cape Verde and will be training on the artificial pitch of the Estadio Municipal Aderito Sena in Mindelo.

The Eagles, who left Lagos by 2.00 a.m. this morning aboard a chartered Air Peace flight, will meet the Blue Sharks today on an artificial pitch.

To acquaint the players to the hard surface presented by artificial pitches, the Super Eagles’ technical crew took the team to the Legacy pitch of the Lagos National Stadium on Saturday. They will train again this evening on the Estadio Municipal Aderito Sena surface.

Estadio Municipal Aderito Sena in Mindelo, Cape Verde

The team left Lagos without eight of the players that featured in the 2-0 defeat against Liberia on Friday. The players are Alex Iwobi, William Troost-Ekong, Peter Etebo, Joe Eribo, Wilfred Ndidi, Ola Aina, Leon Balogun and Kelechi Iheanacho, who are all based in Britain.

According to officials of the national team, the players left for Britain immediately after the game against Liberia. Cape Verde is among countries in Britain’s COVID-19 red zone and players for clubs in the United Kingdom are barred from travelling to such countries.

Speaking on tomorrow’s game, Super Eagles Coach Gernot Rohr, said the absence of the eight players notwithstanding, Nigeria will emerge with the right result.

Super Eagles Coach Gernot Rohr

“There are only two new players in camp, Malmo FF’s Innocent Bonke and Bologna’s Kingsley Michael. These players did very well during training,” Rohr said.

“None of the UK based players will be with us for the second game.”

Rohr admitted that the playing surface in Cape Verde would pose a huge challenge for the players, adding that it is difficult to move from a grass pitch to an AstroTurf after just two days of training on it.

“From a heavy grass to a very dry synthetic pitch, we have to show our solidarity and manage this position,” Rohr added.

A win for Nigeria tomorrow will put them in a commanding position in Group C.


Chidi Nwoke/The Guardian.

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