Saturday, 6 October 2012

OFOEDU SCORES gain in Turkey

Chikeluba Ofoedu scored again in a Turkish cup game for 1461 Trabzon to take his tally to three goals and said he wishes for more.

Former Rangers star Ofoedu scored his third goal of the season for the Turkish second division when he tucked away a penalty in a 4-1 cup win over Belediye Vanspor.

"I am happy with my performance so far for Trabzon. It was nice to get another goal. I will keep doing my best for the team as I look forward to scoring more in the league and cup.”

The youngster has now scored two goals in the league and one in the cup since his arrival in the summer from the NPL side Enugu Rangers.

UBAH promises $15,000 cash to F/Eagles

Oil tycoon Ifeanyi Ubah has promised the Flying Eagles an instant cash reward of $15,000 if they qualify for next year’s AYC.

The Nigeria U20s will on Sunday battle their counterparts from South Africa for the ticket to the 2013 AYC in Algeria.

Both teams played out a 1-1 draw in the first leg qualifier in Nelspruit a fortnight ago.

“This is our country and we know the role of football in its unification. And so my foundation will give this cash to the Flying Eagles to ensure they qualify for the AYC,” said the chief executive of Capital Oil and Gas, who is also the Nigeria Youth Football Ambassador.

“This is the Ambassador’s bonus and it is our own little way of supporting the team.”

A further breakdown of the cash reward shows that the players will get $10,000, officials $3,000 while the Most Valuable Player will get $2,000.

Ubah also disclosed that he will host the country’s team to this year’s FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup, the Flamingoes, who reached the last eight before they lost 5-3 on penalties to France on Thursday.

It would be recalled that Ubah also shelled out 10 million Naira along with electronic capsules to the Flying Eagles when they reached the last eight of the 2011 U20 World Cup in Colombia.

'Bad boy' ZENKE sees RED in France

It was double trouble for ex-Nigeria U20 star Simon Zenke as he was sent off and his French club Nancy were trounced 4-0 at Saint Etienne.

The former Samsunspor of Turkey powerful striker was red carded in the 68th minute for a rash lunge at Faouzi Ghoulam and his misery was completed when his French Ligue 1 side slumped to a 4-0 loss on the road on Friday.

Zenke will miss three straight games as a result of his expulsion, while Nancy remain second from bottom with four points from seven matches

In Malta, Nigeria striker Akanni Sunday Wasiu was Floriana's hero when he salvaged a point for his team in a home game against Qormi.

The former Colchester United and Luton Town both of England forward drew level for his team in the 65th minute to end the game 2-2.

This was Akanni-Sunday's second goal of the season.
He told that he is happy to score the goal that gave his team a point. 

"All we wanted was to win, but I am happy to have scored the goal that drew level for my team. I hope for more goals as season goes on," he said.

EMENIKE eyes derby victory against MUSA

Spartak Moscow striker, Emmanuel Emenike is looking forward to derby victory between CSKA Moscow and his club Spartak Moscow on Sunday as both clubs set Russia on fire.

Emenike who bagged a brace of goals as Spartak Moscow fell to Celtic in the UEFA Champions League match in Russia said there is no need looking back at Celtic defeat but rather looking forward to the derby game against CSKA Moscow which paraded Ahmed Musa.

"We need to forget the Celtic defeat, we caused it because we allowed them to get the chance which can happen to anybody or any team," said Emenike

"Beating Celtic could have cause more trouble for CSKA Moscow but as it is now, we just need to be focus and forget the past. I know it is not going to be an easy game couple to the fact that we denied them of a Champions league ticket last season."

"I could not believe that Spartak will be playing in this year Champions League because of the dicey game then, CSKA look more threaten than us last year but we show the fighting spirit to the end which I think can work for us on Sunday again.

"I don't believe CSKA can capitalize on our Champions League defeat, and that is Champions League, this is league, we must forget the Champions League for now and focus on the league and that is the mentality we are using to play the game."

"It was nice that I scored in the Champions League but I was sad for losing at the end but like I have said that I will not give up. Yes, I won't, both in my scoring and the team's qualification, we are on course, its just a matter of focus and determination.

"I want victory, I want maximum point for my club and we are ready to fight for it. Scoring goal is all about dedication and being there at the right time and a bit of luck but I am not keen on goal now but emphatic victory.
Spartak, last year's runners-up to Zenit St. Petersburg, are fourth points off Anzhi Makhachkala's lead in the Russian Premier League, in fifth position.

Victory over second-placed CSKA would propel them into second, if results elsewhere go the way of Unai Emery's team.
CSKA look to bounce back from last week's shock 2-0 defeat to Dynamo Moscow, which ended a run of six-straight wins.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

ODIBE dares AIK in Europa Cup

Nigeria international Michael Odibe believes Dnipro have what it takes to dent AIK start of Holland in the Europa Cup match on Thursday.

Odibe's clu, Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk beat PSV Heindoven on match day one of Europa Cup 2-0 in Ukraine, and will also face another Dutch club on Thursday to prove their quality under veteran tactician Juande Ramos who won Carling Cup with Totteham of England.

Odibe who played as substitute in the last Europa game hope to be included in the starting line-up against Dutch team in Holland.

"We took our chances against PSV and we won, so there is nothing stop us taking our chances against AIK too," said Odibe who relishes a dream taste of UEFA tournament.

"At times, its not the name of the team that matters but the quality on the pitch speaks well of the better side, and that was the exact diplomacy against PSV. And before the game, we had few chances because of their name but we were better than them on the pitch."

"We have a good coach who can easily turns things around, we understand him and he carry us along in his tactical approach, so grudges in playing from the bench when he need to apply his sense of belonging."

"Yes, I hope to start the game on wining note and I also wish to impress the coach for his confidence on me, I can't wait to prove more of what I have learn in the past few games.

"We are not there yet but beating AIK can boost our chances for the next game.

Odibe laments tough fixtures in recent week having lost a league to Shakhtar Donesk at weekend, playing AIK in Europa and tackle Dynamo Kiev in their next league game.

"We have more tough games, we have played some and looking forward to the next one."

"We lost to Shakhtar, a painful one and that is why we need to win in Holland and keep ourSn see why there is rotations in the team."

ORELESI: I'm getting closer to EAGLES call up

Highly rated left full back in Albania super Liga, Nurudeen Orelesi, has declares himself surplus in the summer and wants to get Super Eagles call up to boost his chances of playing in top European club next year.

An explosively fast left-wing back who plays for Albanian league champions Skënderbeu Korçë in the Superliga hinted on his reasons to quit the underrated league after refusing to extend his stay beyond next year and move to attractive and televise league.
"At every place you find yourself, you must create your own world and make yourself happy," said Orelesi.

"It been quite wonderful for me in the country even though it has not gotten to the standards of top European football leagues but I can tell you that it is more entertaining like Spanish La liga and Premiership. I always feel at home whenever I go out for matches and I am well respected maybe because I am a Nigerian. The Albanian citizens love to see Nigerian players because of our impressive games. I have never regretted my decision in coming to play in the country because it is a place I can categorically showcase my talent before stepping further to major European league which I am ready for now," he explained.

"I didn't want to extend my deal with Skender but I was persuaded by top officials including the club president, but after my consultation with my family, I decided to stay one more season and win the title again.

"It's time for me to get bigger challenges in my career. I know a lot of Nigerians does not reckon with other leagues except Premiership and La Liga but the truth is that we must start at a place, I am here to prove a lot and it is the best time for me to move by the special grace of Allah, I shall move to attractive club next year depending on what comes my way."

Speaking on his Super Eagles dream, he said: "I know it will be difficult to nail a shirt in the team for now, because there are lots of players on the list but I will be glad to come and prove myself. I have played in two categories of National team and my games can speak better for me.

Clubs in Holland, Russia, Turkey and France are said to have been waiting the Nigerian left full back after authoritavely declares to quit Albanian league in the summer.

"For now, I can't disclose anything concerning that but it will be anounce to the world when it happens, thank you."

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

All eyes on hat-trick hero Chima for Europa League tie

Daniel Chima Chukwu has said his weekend hat-trick for Molde in Norway will inspire him in a Europa League tie versus Stuttgart on Thursday.

Molde are bottom of Group E of the Europa League after they lost their first game 2-1 at Danish club Kobenhavn.

On Sunday, Nigerian striker Chima fired a treble against Stabaek in a 4-3 victory to shoot Norwegian champions Molde back to the top of the table.

“This performance against Stabaek has put me in a right frame of mind ahead of our Europa League match with Stuttgart," former Lyn Oslo star Chima has revealed.

"It was a great feeling for me to score three goals in a match, that was my first since I came to Norway. And most importantly is that we won and the victory keeps us on top of the league.”

His compatriot Emmanuel Ekpo was a 73rd minute substitute for Molde against Stabaek.

KESHI drops two Eagles star

The Super Eagles have dropped Pillars stars Papa Idris and Gabriel Reuben after they failed to recover fully from injury.

According to a media release, the two players have now been replaced by Kalu Orji of Heartland and Stanley Okoronkwo from Sharks.

Idris has been nursing a knee injury, while Reuben is battling a groin injury. Both players were also dropped for the first leg qualifier in Liberia last month.

After Monday morning’s training, coach Stephen Keshi and his assistants went into a lengthy meeting after which it was decided that the two players should be excused, going by the crucial nature of the game at hand.

 “It was a painful decision to let the two players go, but we have to look at the future of the players and the fact that we will need the two of them at the South Africa 2013 Nations Cup, that is why we have said we should give them more time to go and get themselves healed. After the game against Liberia, they should be back in the team,”Keshi explained.

As expected all the players invited save for the Sunshine Stars duo of Izu Azuka and Solomon Kwambe, beat the Sunday evening deadline and were part of the training session at the training pitch of the Abuja National Stadium.

“They have special permission to stay away for now”, declared Keshi of the Sunshine Stars duo, who are preparing to host Egyptian giants Al Ahly this weekend in the semi-finals of the CAF Champions League.

Meanwhile, Keshi has again insisted that there will be no automatic shirts in his team who will face Liberia on October 13 in Calabar.

“I know that 15 players are coming from Europe, but we already have 21 of you here, what we expect is that you go out there and prove yourself during training and leave the rest to me,” said the Eagles coach.

“No matter how fantastic players are in Europe and in their clubs, they have to come here to prove that they are good enough to start and if those of you that are here show that you are better you will start against Liberia.”

As if heeding Keshi’s call, newcomers Bassey Ezekiel and Brendan Ogbu shone like a million stars in Monday’s opening day training.

Central defender Kingsley Udoh, was also in his element same for Ohanduku Ogbu, but it was Ezekiel who was the star of the opening day that was superintended by Keshi and his four assistants.

The team continue training on Tuesday with two sessions at the training pitch of the Abuja National Stadium.

VALERENGA new boy SULAIMAN wants more

Ex-Heartland ace Ahmed Suleiman has said he wishes for more after he fought his way to the first team of top Norwegian club Valerenga.  
The forward, who has also featured for Enyimba, has settled down quickly in Europe since the winter and now wants to be given his chance in the Nigeria U20 team, the Flying Eagles.
The Jos-born star revealed his burgeoning career so far as well as his ambitions going forward -
What were the clubs you played for in Nigeria before you moved to Europe? 

    I played for Mighty Jets, Plateau United, Unicem Rovers, Enyimba and Heartland.
How did you take it when the offer to join Valerenga in Norway came? 
   I was so happy. I was offered trials in January and it was not so easy at the beginning because there was snow everywhere, but being a Jos boy, I was able to adjust quickly. I was lucky to get a deal straight away after my first trainings as I impressed the officials. The rest is now history and I came back to Nigeria to do my paper work, then I returned to Norway in March to sign the contract.
How has the experience being since you came to Norway? 
   So far, so good. It has been wonderful on and off the pitch. I am enjoying myself.
How will you rate your performance so far? 
   Well, I think I am doing well, though I just got my chance in main team so I am taking my chances. I have not scored yet, but I have provided some assists.
Your club started well but are now fifth on the table? 
   Our dream was to win the league and we started well as you observed, but we had injuries to many regular players. Good enough these players are coming back gradually and we are hopeful we could at least finish well to feature in the Europa League next season.
Who are your role models? 
   I started out in same team that produced Mikel Obi, Joe Akpala in Jos, El Kanemi Junior, so I look up to Mikel, who is a great player and wish to be like him. I thank God that my time has come to play in Europe. Lionel Messi is my role model, I want to be like him and Obafemi Martins is another player I admire because of their style.
Do you have any nickname and if so, how did you come about it? 
   They call me Dan Zaki in Jos which in Hausa means “Baby Lion”. The name was given to me during the Governor’s Cup in Jos. I was always coming on in second half and I will go on to score, so people began to call me that name and it has stuck.
As a striker, do you have a target of goals you have set for yourself this season? 
   Not really, I am not thinking about that. I just want to cement my place in first team and do well for the club. I am adapting to the style here because it is very different from what I was used to. I like to play with ball but here it is kick and follow.
Do you have any national team experience? 
   No. I am still 19 years old and it is my dream to play for National team. I am still eligible for U20 World Cup. Whenever my senior colleague here Fengor Ogude goes home for a national team engagement, I always believe I will be there one day. I will be glad if coach John Obuh (Flying Eagles) gives me the chance in his team.
How is the relationship among the Nigerians in Valerenga? 
   It is very cordial. Ogude is my senior brother here and I tell him everything, he gives me advice on how to do things, he has been helpful. There is Aaron Samuel, who has just joined the team, and Olanade, who holds Norwegian citizenship with Nigerian roots. We get along very well and that is why I feel at home here.

EMENIKE ready to silent noisy AMBROSE

Emmanuel Emenike will battle Efe Ambrose, while Mikel said Chelsea will win at Nordjaellend as UEFA Champions League action resumes Tuesday.

Emenike’s Spartak Moscow welcome Celtic, who are most likely to hand Ambrose his champions League debut on Tuesday.

Ex-Fenerbahce of Turkey front man Emenike, who was a torn in the flesh of Barcelona Camp Nou on the opening day of the Champions League, has told that they are set to build on their display in Spain when they host Celtic.

"We played well against Barca though we lost, we are set to build on that good display and I believe if we can be more ruthless in front of goal to beat Celtic,” the Nigeria striker said.

“We just have to dominate possession and be more clinical in our finishing, take our chances in the
game. We need victory in this match to put ourselves back on track.”

He further said the top Russian club would not underrate Celtic.

"We are not underrating Celtic because we know they are a good team and we expect a tough battle from them." Emenike said.

"I have the confidence that we will qualify to the next stage of the competition, but that journey starts now. As usual, I wish to score in this game as a striker. But I am not desperate for goals because what is most important now is victory for my team. "

Celtic new signing Ambrose told that they hope to get a result in Moscow.
Efe, who only make the bench in the match day one, said he is looking forward to his Champions League debut after playing three domestic games for his Scottish club. 

"It is not going to be an easy game because Spartak are a strong team. We are also a good team and we will take the battle to them. We will do our best and hope for a result in Moscow,” he said.

“This will be my first appearance in the UEFA Champions League. I hope to make good use of my chances by helping Celtic get a good result."

Champions Chelsea will also be guests of Nordsjaellend and Eagles midfielder Mikel told they will not take the Danish champions lightly as they gun for their first victory in Group E.

"We are taking the game against the Danish team very seriously. We need victory in this game after we failed to beat Juventus in first game,” he said.

“Victory is crucial for us even though we are not going to disrespect or underrate them because they won the league in Denmark. They are a good side as no bad team can be champions anywhere. We are going there for outright victory because that is what we need."

The Stamford Bridge outfit let a two-goal lead slip against Juventus on match day One to draw 2-2 at home, while Nordsjaellend were beaten 2-0 by Shakhtar Donetsk, who currently lead the group.

Chelsea’s only trip to Denmark in the past was against FC Copenhagen in the 2010/11 season when they won 2-0 in a Round of 16 tie in the Champions League.

Nordsjaellend are featuring in the prestigious Champions League for the first time after winning their first-ever Danish Superliga title in dramatic fashion last season.

CHIBUIKE eyes debut goal against Leverkusen

John Chibuike has said he wishes to prove he is back and better with a goal in Thursday’s Europa League clash against Bayer Leverkusen.

The former Enugu Rangers star is expected to make his Europa League debut for Norwegian club Rosenborg at home against experienced German Bundesliga outfit Leverkusen.

And the 23-year-old Chibuike revealed that a goal on Thursday would prove he has fully recovered from an injury which kept him out of his club’s opening day Europa League match against Rapid Wien.

Rosenborg are top of Group K with three points after their 2-1 win away at Rapid in Austria.

"I missed the first Europa game due to injury, but I am back for good and I wish I could make that statement against Levekusen. I have scored in two matches after returning from the injury which made me miss the first match,” he said.

“I wish to debut in Europe against Bayer Leverkusen and score in the game. I am ready for the match." 

However, he admitted his club face a tough test in front of their fans.

"We are going to face a very tough opposition as Leverkusen have the experience at this level, but all we need to do is to remain focused,” he said.

“We don't fear them and we are going for victory. We know that victory in this game will put us on track for bigger things."