Eagles depart Abuja for international friendly with Mexico in Los Angeles
Made up of solely home-based players, the team is expected to travel aboard a Turkish Airline flight for the game billed for the Los Angeles Coliseum, a 77,500 capacity facility that has hosted major international games.
The team, led by Nigeria Football Federation’s (NFF) Technical Director, Augustine Eguavoen, with support from former U-20 national team coach, Paul Aigbogun, has been preparing for the encounter in Abuja in the last six days.
Super Eagles head coach, Gernot Rohr, will also be with the squad in America to monitor the performance of the players and advise the handlers where necessary.
Eguavoen recently trimmed the team to 23 for easy management of the players, who are expected to use the match to justify their demand for more representation in the Super Eagles main team.
The players got their visas from the U.S. Embassy and also did their COVID-19 tests yesterday ahead of their journey today.
Among the players billed to make the trip to the U.S are goalkeepers Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Heartland), John Noble (Enyimba) and Lobi Stars’ Stanley Nwabali Bobo.
The defenders are Olisa Ndah (Akwa United); Adekunle Adeleke (Abia Warriors); Tope Olusesi (Enugu Rangers); Imoh Obot (Enyimba); Tebo Franklin Degaulle (Nasarawa United); Lawal Oriyomi Murtala (Kwara United); and Enyinnaya Kazie (Rivers United).
The midfielders are Anthony Shimaga (Rangers International); Seth Mayi (Akwa United); and Uche Onwuasoanya (Plateau United.
Anayo Iwuala of Enyimba, who has been part of the main Super Eagles in recent times, will lead the attackers, who also include Stephen Jude (Kwara United); Ibrahim Olawoyin (Enugu Rangers); Charles Ashimene (Akwa United); Auwalu Ali Malam (Kano Pillars); Nenrot Emmanuel (Plateau United); Abdulmutalif Sanusi (Katsina United); Sunday Adetunji(Rivers United); Mohammed Zulkifilu (Plateau United) and Chinonso Eziekwe (Enugu Rangers).
Saturday’s match against Nigeria is part of Mexico’s MexTour Series, which involves four games.
The game kicks off at 7.30 p.m. Los Angeles time on Saturday, which is 3.30 a.m. on Sunday in Nigeria. It will be Nigeria’s sixth confrontation with Mexico at the senior level, four of which ended in draws. The only win in the series has gone to Mexico, when they trumped a US Gold Cup encounter in Dallas (State of Texas) 2-1 on June 24, 1995.
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