• en

Interim Manager Finidi George Targets Second Consecutive Win As Super Eagles Face Mali on Tuesday 

EXCERPT: West African countries Nigeria and Mali face-off in a friendly in Marrakech on Tuesday.

Former World Cup star Finidi George has reiterated his objective of securing a two wins in two matches for which he has been selected to take interim charge of Nigeria in this international window, ahead of Tuesday’s clash with Les Aigles of Mali in Marrakech.

The two West African teams clash in an evening game at the Grand Stade de Marrakech, where the three-time African champions put up a show to defeat arch-rivals Ghana 2-1 on Friday.

George must now do without defender Calvin Bassey and midfielder Frank Onyeka, who are injured and will not be part of Tuesday night’s ensemble against the 1972 AFCON runners-up.

Already, the Super Eagles have been hampered by the absence of key men like forwards Victor Osimhen and Victor Boniface, and defenders William Ekong, Olaoluwa Aina and Zaidu Sanusi. Defenders Gabriel Osho and Tyronne Ebuehi, and forward Taiwo Awoniyi also had to pull out because of injuries. 

Yet, the former Ajax Amsterdam and Real Betis winger is upbeat that those who dimmed the Black Stars will also fly above the other Eagles.

“We cannot at this time be dwelling on the injuries and absences that we have to cope with. Our intention has always been to win these two matches and then look forward to the World Cup qualifiers in June. We are determined to keep up the momentum and sustain the winning mentality derived from beating the Black Stars,” George said on Monday morning.

Incidentally, the last of Finidi George’s 62 caps for Nigeria came against the Eagles of Mali. ‘The Gazelle’ was involved when on 9th February, 2002 the Super Eagles pipped host nation Mali in the city of Mopti 1-0 to win the bronze medals of the 23rd Africa Cup of Nations.

Mali signalled their readiness for this encounter with a 2-0 spanking of Mauritania also in Morocco on Friday.

Absences and injuries, and George’s avowed intention not to overload players, could see goalkeeper Olorunleke Ojo, defenders Kenneth Omeruo and Jamilu Collins, midfielder Alhassan Yusuf, and forwards Nathan Tella, Sadiq Umar and Fisayo Dele-Bashiru assume prominence in the encounter with the Les Aigles.     

Paris 2024: Waldrum invites Ajibade, Oshoala, Nnadozie, 19 others for Banyana

Coach Randy Waldrum has extended invitations to captain Rasheedat Ajibade, US-based Africa queen Asisat Oshoala and high-riding goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie among a group of 22 players for the two-legged Paris Olympics final qualifying fixture against South Africa next month.

Saudi Arabia-based defender Ashley Plumptre and veteran rearguard Osinachi Ohale are also called, as well as youthful midfielder Deborah Abiodun, and forwards Esther Okoronkwo and Uchenna Kanu.

There are recalls for 2019 World Cup star Chidinma Okeke and veteran forward Chiwendu Ihezuo, and a first invitation for U20 defender Shukurat Oladipo.

The Super Falcons are at home for the first leg scheduled for Friday, 5th April at the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja before flying to Pretoria for the return at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Tuesday, 9th April. The winner over two legs will earn one of Africa’s two tickets to this year’s Women’s Olympic Football Tournament, with Zambia and Morocco to clash for the other ticket on the same dates.

Waldrum has also kept faith with regulars like wing-back Michelle Alozie, midfield lynchpins Christy Ucheibe and Halimatu Ayinde, and forward Gift Monday.


Goalkeepers: Chiamaka Nnadozie (Paris FC); Tochukwu Oluehi (Shualat Alsharqia FC, Saudi Arabia); Linda Jiwuaku (Bayelsa Queens)

Defenders: Osinachi Ohale (Pachucha Club de Futbol, Mexico); Ashleigh Plumptre (Ittihad Ladies, Saudi Arabia); Shukurat Oladipo (FC Robo Queens); Michelle Alozie (Houston Dash, USA); Nicole Payne (Portland Thorns FC, USA); Chidinma Okeke (Mynavi Sendai Ladies, Japan) 

Midfielders: Deborah Abiodun (University of Pittsburgh, USA); Halimatu Ayinde (FC Rosengard, Sweden); Christy Ucheibe (SL Benfica, Portugal); Jennifer Echegini (Juventus Ladies, Italy); Rasheedat Ajibade (Atletico Madrid FC, Spain); Toni Payne (Sevilla FC, Spain) 

Forwards: Omorinsola Babajide (Coasta Adeje Tenerife Egatesa, Spain); Esther Okoronkwo (Changchun FC, China); Ifeoma Onumonu (SLC Utah, USA); Asisat Oshoala (Bay FC, USA); Uchenna Kanu (Racing Louisville, USA); Gift Monday (Coasta Adeje Tenerife Egatesa, Spain); Chiwendu Ihezuo (Pachucha Club de Futbol, Mexico)  

Follow us on: