Strength in numbers for Nigeria
Wednesday’s away draw at Niger Republic has confirmed the availability of options for Super Eagles supremo, Stephen Keshi, as he continues to mould the best players in the Nigeria Premier League into a dependable unit for international assignment.
Organised to prepare both sides for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Guinea and Liberia respectively, the Eagles earned
a respectable scoreline despite the presence of eight foreign-based
players in the Nigerien side.
Keshi left his foreign-based contingent out of the friendly.
Inspired by former CSKA Moscow forward, Moussa Maazou, who has
joined Tunisia’s Etoile du Sahel, the Eagles made up of players from
the NPL didn’t disappoint.
The last time the Eagles composed of players in the NPL played Niger in a CHAN qualifying, the hosts won 2-0 and the reverse fixture
produced no goals.
Niger eventually qualified for the competition hosted by Sudan in 2011.
With the absence of the Sunshine Stars duo of Godfrey Oboabana, who is comfortable as a right full-back and central defender, as well as playmaker, Izu Azuka, Keshi brought in new players who proved they could rise up to the occasion.
It was a day NPL stars like Philip Asuquo, Francis Benjamin, Umar Zango, Solomon Kwambe, Sibi Gwar, Solomon Jabason and Sani Sanusi got
their first caps for the Eagles.
SuperSport.com learnt that Keshi left Niamey satisfied that the
new players were impressive.
Skipper of Gombe United, Alhaji Kwairanga, expressed satisfaction
with Keshi’s decision to introduce new players in Niger.
“It’s good for the national team. In fact, I learnt that my teammate Sanusi Sani played well.
Sani is a good player. I watched him during their friendly matches
before the journey to Niger and he was impressive,” Kwairanga told
Benjamin Francis (Heartland)
Solomon Jabason (Akwa-United)
Phillip Asuquo (Shooting Stars Sports Club)
Solomon Kwambe (Sunshine Stars)
Sibi Gwar (Niger Tornadoes)
Sani Sanusi (Gombe United)
Umar Zango (Kano Pillars)