World Cup Playoff: Super Eagles train as 21 players hit Abuja camp

World Cup Playoff: Super Eagles train as 21 players hit Abuja camp

Super Eagles have begun their training as twenty-one players have arrived camp in Abuja to begin preparations for the World Cup Qatar 2022 playoff battle with the Black Stars of Ghana.

The team had their first training session on Tuesday evening ahead of departure to Kumasi on Thursday.

Three-time African champions Nigeria and four-time African champions Ghana will clash at the 40,000 capacity Baba Yara Stadium on Friday evening, in the first leg of a potentially explosive fixture in which both teams will battle for a single ticket to the 22nd FIFA World Cup finals.

First choice goalkeeper, Maduka Okoye has been ruled out of the encounter due to illness and Coach Augustine Eguavoen has invited Enyimba FC goalkeeper John Noble to join the squad.

In-form Napoli FC striker, Victor Osimhen is the latest arrival in camp. Sadiq Umar and Amoo Akinwunmi are still expected to join the team on Tuesday.

Leicester City of England playmaker Ademola Lookman and new invitee John Noble are expected on Wednesday morning.

Friday’s encounter in Kumasi will be the 58th clash between the two countries’ senior teams, with 18 of those matches having ended in draws.

The first encounter was on October 20, 1951, which Nigeria won 5-0.

The last time both teams were involved in a FIFA World Cup qualifying fixture was in 2001, with both seeking a spot at the Korea/Japan 2002 finals. The opening leg at the Accra Sports Stadium was stalemated 0-0, before Nigeria won the return 3-0 inside the Liberation Stadium in Port Harcourt on July 29, 2001.

Their last meeting, in a friendly match that was staged in London on October 11, 2011, ended goalless.

Players in Camp as of Tuesday

William Ekong, Leon Balogun, Oluwasemilogo Ajayi, Olaoluwa Aina, Frank Onyeka, Odion Ighalo, Daniel Akpeyi, Ahmed Musa, Oghenekaro Etebo, Kelechi Iheanacho, Abdullahi Shehu, Francis Uzoho, Moses Simon, Emmanuel Dennis, Joseph Ayodele-Aribo, Calvin Bassey, Innocent Bonke, Kenneth Omeruo, Zaidu Sanusi, Samuel Chukwueze and Victor Osimhen.