The Super Eagles will finish their tour of the United States of America on Thursday with a match against Ecuador at the 25,000-seat Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.
An under-strength Nigeria put up a valiant fight in what was coach José Santos Peseiro’s first outing with the squad, but were unlucky to lose 1-2 to Mexico in a game of two halves in Dallas on Saturday.
Emmanuel Dennis, an English-based forward, has joined the club, and defender Olaoluwa Aina has recovered from a knock to train with the squad on Tuesday.
The encounter against Ecuador takes place exactly one week before the Super Eagles take on the Sierra Leone Stars at the MKO Abiola National Stadium in Abuja in their season opener to 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying series.
Peseiro and the rest of the coaching staff now have a total of 20 players to choose from while facing the feisty South Americans, who are famed for their pace, poise, and strength.
Midfielder Innocent Bonke is unlikely to play in Thursday’s session, but home-based professional Chiamaka Madu, who appeared in the second period against El Tri, has been working tirelessly to fill in for the former.
In midfield, Joseph Ayodele-Aribo, Alex Iwobi, Madu, Terem Moffi, and Babatunde Bello are ready to go, while Dennis, Cyriel Dessers, Moses Simon, Victor Mbaoma, and Ishaq Rafiu are ready to go.
Captain William Ekong, Aina, Chidozie Awaziem, Sani Faisal, Oluwasemilogo Ajayi, Calvin Bassey, and Ibrahim Buhari are all ready to play, as are goalkeepers Francis Uzoho, Olorunleke Ojo, and Adewale Adeyinka.
Victory on Thursday will go a long way toward boosting the Super Eagles’ spirits ahead of their two Africa Cup of Nations qualification matches against Sierra Leone and So Tomé and Prncipe on June 9th and 13th, respectively.
The game begins at 8 p.m. ET (1 a.m. Nigeria time on Friday) at the New York Red Bulls’ Major League Soccer stadium, which opened in March 2010.