Football

Full house as William Troost-Ekong and Odion Ighalo arrive in Super Eagles camp

Udinese centre-back William Troost-Ekong and Changchun Yatai forward Odion Ighalo have arrived in Nigeria’s training camp ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon).

The duo are the last set of players to arrive at the team’s base in Asaba as Gernot Rohr now has his full 25 players available for training.

Earlier this week, the Super Eagles started preparations for the biennial showpiece with 20 players before the trio of Ahmed Musa, Alex Iwobi and Abdullahi Shehu joined on Wednesday.

Gernot Rohr’s side will lock horns against Afcon-bound Zimbabwe on Saturday at the Stephen Keshi Stadium before travelling to Egypt where they will take on Senegal in another friendly encounter on June 16.

Nigeria are in Group B of the tournament and they will begin their campaign against Burundi in Alexandria on June 22.

They will later play against Guinea on June 26 and Madagascar on June 30.

Brighton & Hove Albion defender Leon Balogun said that there would have been an outrage if Nigeria had failed to qualify for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon).

The West Africans qualified for the tournament in Egypt as group winners ahead of South Africa, Libya and Seychelles with 13 points from six matches.

Prior to that, Nigeria had not appeared on the continental stage since their triumph in 2013.

During the qualifying round, Balogun played a significant role for Gernot Rohr’s team and he has reflected on how crucial their progress was for the entire country.

“We’ve qualified for this summer’s African Cup of Nations, which is the most important thing because we failed to qualify for the previous two tournaments – having been winners in 2013,” Balogun told Brighton’s official website.

“There would have been an outrage if we hadn’t qualified again; we are a nation of 200 million people and although we have our problems, football brings everyone together and so we have a responsibility beyond football.”

The Super Eagles will be making their 18th Afcon appearance in Egypt later this month and they have been paired against Burundi, Guinea and Madagascar in Group B.

Ahead of their friendly match against Zimbabwe, Rohr has hinted that Balogun is among the players that will play at the Stephen Keshi Stadium on Saturday.

 

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