Mikel targets ‘golden’ bronze in Rio, listed for Tanzania
As Nigeria contest for a bronze medal today against Honduras in the men’s football tournament at the Rio Olympics, team captain, John Obi Mikel says they will give their best.
“We will put everything into this match so that we can pick the bronze and make Nigerians happy, Mikel said.
Nigeria will welcome back midfielder Okechukwu Azubuike for this evening third-place match, but striker Oghenekaro Etebo remains sideline.
Honduras were walloped 6-0 by hosts Brazil in their semifinal tie, while Nigeria lost 0-2 to Germany.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr has invited 23 players, including Mikel and goalkeeper Carl Ikeme, for next month’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against the Taifa Stars of Tanzania.
The match is a dead rubber, as both teams have been eliminated, but Rohr and the Super Eagles are using the game as rehearsal for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying series Matchday 1 clash with Zambia in Ndola in October.
The Franco-German, named Technical Adviser of the Super Eagles by the NFF two weeks ago, has called up three goalkeepers, eight defenders, four midfielders and eight forwards for the game scheduled for the Akwa Ibom International Stadium, Uyo on Saturday, 3rd September.
Captain Mikel John Obi, whose sterling leadership of the Nigeria U23 to the Bronze Medal match of the Rio 2016 Olympics has drawn global applause, is joined in the midfield by the energetic Ogenyi Onazi, Belgium –based former youth international Wilfred Ndidi and Israel –based Nosa Igiebor, who has not featured for Nigeria since missing the cut for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Emmanuel Daniel, who has done his reputation no harm with some breath –taking reflex saves at the Olympics, joins Carl Ikeme and Ikechukwu Ezenwa to fight for the gloves, while home –based Jamiu Alimi finds a place amongst Leon Balogun, William Troost-Ekong, Chidozie Awaziem, Abdullahi Shehu, Musa Muhammed, Elderson Echiejile and Kingsley Madu in the defence.