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Nigeria vs Ghana: Ministry, NFF Purchase 20,000 Tickets For Home Fans

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The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) have purchased 20,000 tickets for Super Eagles fans.

According to them, this is in line with their commitment to getting full home support in Tuesday’s FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 playoff final battle against the Black Stars of Ghana.

The first leg played on Friday last week ended in a goalless draw in Kumasi.

The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, confirmed that the objective was to fill up the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja and cheer the Nigerian team to victory.

“We will buy 20,000 of the tickets and give to fans at designated centres on Monday and Tuesday morning,” he said. “We want to ensure maximum support for the Super Eagles by filling up the stands.

“The NFF has done well to secure maximum capacity of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium for the match.

This move will guarantee us a full house, if you also consider the efforts that the ticket rights holder, Africa Independent Television have been making on their own.”

NFF Second Vice President, Shehu Dikko, on his part, said the ministry and the football body believe the full house will spur the Super Eagles to earn a seventh FIFA World Cup finals ticket on Tuesday evening.

“It is a very big match, and we need the maximum support for our team,” he said.

“The players have expressed a desire for full house, just as the Ghanaians had in Kumasi. We want to thank the ministry for initiating this move.”

Tuesday’s clash between Nigeria and Ghana at the MKO stadium on Tuesday is perhaps the most anticipated and potentially explosive encounter in the two countries’ 71-year, 58-match rivalry.

The match will kick-off 6pm Nigerian time and the winner will secure a ticket to the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup.

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Official: José Peseiro now Super Eagles Head Coach

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The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has appoint Joeé Santos Peseiro as the new Head Coach of the national team after weeks of endless reports of the Portuguese being the frontrunner for the Super Eagles Head coach job.

The NFF announced the appointment on Sunday, saying appointment is with immediate effect but subject to the signing of agreed terms between the NFF and Peseiro.

Peseiro, 62, will take charge of the Super Eagles starting with friendlies with Mexico and Ecuador later in May.

Mr Peseiro has coached clubs and national teams in four continents— Europe, Asia, Africa and South America.

He has coached at Sporting Lisbon, FC Porto, Panathinaikos, Rapid Bucharest, Sporting Braga, Victoria Gumaraes, Al-Hilal, Al-Wahda, Al-Ahly Cairo, Sharjah FC and Real Madrid (assistant coach during the Galacticos era), and worked as Head Coach of the Saudi Arabian and Venezuelan national teams.

A statement from the NFF said Peseiro is expected to lead out the Super Eagles for the first time against Mexico at the AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas on May 28, before flying to New Jersey to face Ecuador at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison on Thursday, June 2.

NFF in the statement also announced that former Nigerian international forward, Finidi George will now be the First Assistant to Peseiro, with Salisu Yusuf to be the Second Assistant as well as Head Coach of the CHAN and U23 National Teams.

Usman Abdallah is the Third Assistant while Eboboritse Uwejamomere will be the Match Analyst and another former Nigeria international, Ike Shorounmu will be the Goalkeepers’ Trainer.

Peseiro succeeds Augustine Eguavoen who failed to qualify the Super Eagles for the 2022 World Cup holding in Qatar.

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International friendlies: Ighalo, Iheanacho missing in Coach Salisu Yusuf’s 30-man list against Mexico, Ecuador

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Super Eagles’ First Assistant Coach, Salisu Yusuf, has listed 30 players, including eight home-based professionals, excluding the foreign-based duo of Odion Ighalo and Kelechi Iheanacho, for upcoming international friendlies.

The list, released on Tuesday by the Communications Department of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), however, has featured captain Ahmed Musa, as well as forward Moses Simon.

The list was released ahead of the international friendlies against the “A” Men National Teams of Mexico and Ecuador, scheduled for the U.S.

The Super Eagles will clash with CONCACAF powerhouse Mexico at the AT & T Stadium in Dallas, Texas on May 28.

They will then head to New Jersey to tackle Ecuador at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison on June 2.

Yusuf, who is also Head Coach of the CHAN and national under-23 teams, has included home-based goalkeepers Adewale Adeyinka and Ojo Olorunleke who are to support the returning Maduka Okoye.

He also called up defender Ibrahim Buhari, and forwards Victor Mbaoma and Ishaq Rafiu, with the home-based players being two goalkeepers, two defenders, two midfielders and two forwards.

A statement from NFF said only 25 of the 30 players will make the final list for the tour, which is preparatory for June’s 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying matches.

The qualifiers are against Sierra Leone in Abuja (June 9) and São Tomé & Príncipe in Marrakech, Morocco (June 13).

Full list of invited players:

Goalkeepers: Maduka Okoye (Sparta Rotterdam, The Netherlands); Adewale Adeyinka (Akwa United); Ojo Olorunleke (Enyimba International FC).

Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Abdullahi Shehu (AC Omonia, Cyprus); Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal); William Ekong (Watford FC, England); Leon Balogun (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Isa Ali (Remo Stars); Chidozie Awaziem (Alanyaspor FC, Turkey); Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Calvin Bassey (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Ibrahim Buhari (Plateau United)

Midfielders: Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Watford FC, England); Chiamaka Madu (Rivers United); Babatunde Afeez Nosiru (Kwara United); Azubuike Okechukwu (Yeni Malatyaspor, Turkey); Samson Tijani (Red Bull Salzburg, Austria); Alhassan Yusuf (Royal Antwerp FC, Belgium)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Fatih Karagumruk, Turkey); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain); Ademola Lookman (Leicester City, England); Sadiq Umar (UD Almeria, Spain); Emmanuel Dennis (Watford FC, England); Cyriel Dessers (Feyenoord FC, The Netherlands); Victor Mbaoma (Enyimba FC); Ishaq Rafiu (Rivers United)

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Arsenel pile more pressure on Man Utd’s hope of top four

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Arsenal took control of the battle to finish in the Premier League top four with a 3-1 win over Manchester United to all but end the Red Devils’ hopes of Champions League football next season.

Nuno Tavares, Bukayo Saka and Granit Xhaka scored in the match to move Arsenal three points clear of Tottenham, who face Brentford later on Saturday.

Sixth-placed United are six points adrift of the top four and could miss out on European football completely next season.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 22nd goal of the season on his return to the United side after missing Tuesday’s 4-0 thrashing at Liverpool due to the death of his newborn son.

Ronaldo, will however regret letting Bruno Fernandes take a second-half penalty with the game finely poised at 2-1 to the Gunners.

Harry Maguire was dropped to the bench after a traumatic week.

The England international’s house was searched by police after receiving a bomb threat.

Maguire has been the target for much of the criticism directed at United this season, but the defence was no better in his absence.

Arsenal, took just two minutes to be breached the Red Devil’s defence as David de Gea’s fine save from Saka’s initial effort counted for nothing as Tavares slot home the rebound.

De Gea again stood up well to parry a piledriver from Eddie Nketiah from close range.

Seconds later, Nketiah found the net from another one-on-one.

A VAR review found the England under-21 international offside, but awarded a penalty to Arsenal when Saka was fouled by Alex Telles as he played the ball into Nketiah’s path.

Saka stepped on to send De Gea the wrong way from the penalty spot to double Arsenal’s lead.

Ronaldo hit back within two minutes as he swept home Nemanja Matic’s cross for his 100th Premier League goal.

Tavares needlessly handled a corner into the Arsenal box on the hour.

Ronaldo stood aside to let Fernandes take the penalty, but his compatriot rolled the ball onto the post.

Moments later, Ronaldo had the ball in the net thanks to another smart, instinctive finish but was flagged offside.

Ronaldo then played provider for Diogo Dalot’s shot to be turned onto the post by Aaron Ramsdale.

The relief around the Emirates was palpable when Xhaka restored the two-goal cushion with a powerful shot that flew past De Gea from 25 yards.

Arsenal had lost three consecutive games prior to a much-needed 4-2 win at Chelsea in midweek their top-four campaign.

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