Delegation of Nigeria’s Senior Men National Team has arrived in
Los Angeles, United States of America for Saturday’s international
friendly match taking place at the imposing Los Angeles Memorial
Coliseum, simply known as LA Coliseum.
Organizers expect a full house at the 77,500- capacity LA Coliseum at
Saturday’s match, which would make it the most-attended game globally
since the restrictions that followed the coronavirus pandemic which
broke out last year.
Nigeria’s delegation included 22 players and a number of officials,
including the NFF General Secretary, Dr Mohammed Sanusi. President of
the NFF and FIFA Council Member, Mr Amaju Melvin Pinnick, who honoured
an invite by the Government of the State of Maryland in Baltimore on
Wednesday, will join up with the contingent in Los Angeles on Friday.
As a result of injury to goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa, the NFF had to
fast-track National Exempt papers for Tottenham Hotspur of England U23
goalkeeper, Joshua Oluwayemi. He is expected in the team hotel in Los
Angeles on Friday to beef up the goalkeeping department that has only
Enyimba FC’s John Noble and Lobi Stars’ Stanley Nwabali.
NFF’s FIFAMatch Agent, Jairo Pachon of Eurodata Sport has now
confirmed that the match will kick off at 8pm LA time on Saturday (4am
in Nigeria on Sunday). It will be the sixth confrontation between the
senior teams of both countries, four of which have ended in draws. The
only win in the series has gone to Mexico who a US Gold Cup encounter
in Dallas (State of Texas) 2-1 on 24th June 1995.
Close-fought confrontations include a 1-1 draw at the FIFA
Intercontinental Tournament for the King Fahd Cup (now FIFA
Confederations Cup) in Saudi Arabia on 13th January 1995 (Mexico
prevailed 5-4 on penalties in the quarter-final match), and 0-0 draws
in friendly matches in Houston and Atlanta the previous decade. A
friendly game in Mexico also ended 2-2.
EAGLES IN AMERICA
Goalkeepers: Stanley Nwabili (Lobi Stars); John Noble (Enyimba FC)
Defenders: Olisa Ndah (Akwa United); Adekunle Adeleke (Abia Warriors);
Tope Olusesi (Rangers International); Enyinnaya Kazie (Rivers United);
Imoh Obot (Enyimba FC); Tebo Franklin Degaulle (Nasarawa United);
Lawal Oriyomi Murtala (Kwara United)
Midfielders: Anthony Shimaga (Rangers International); Seth Mayi (Akwa
United); Uche Onwuasonaya (Plateau United); Ibrahim Olawoyin (Rangers
International); Anayo Iwuala (Enyimba FC)
Forwards: Stephen Jude (Kwara United); Charles Ashimene (Akwa United);
Chinonso Ezekwe (Rangers International); Auwalu Ali Malam (Kano
Pillars); Neurot Emmanuel (Plateau United); Abdulmutalif Sanusi
(Katsina United); Mohammed Zulkifilu (Plateau United); Sunday Adetunji