Nigeria’s Home-based Super Eagles have arrived in Los Angeles, United States of America for Saturday’s international friendly with Mexico taking place at the imposing Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, simply known as LA Coliseum.
NFF’s FIFAMatch Agent, Jairo Pachon of Eurodata Sport confirmed yesterday that the match will kick off at 8pmLA time on Saturday (4amin Nigeria on Sunday).
Organizers expect a full house at the 77,500- capacity LA Coliseum at Saturday’s match, which would make it the most-attended game globally since the restrictions that followed the coronavirus pandemic which broke out last year.
According to NFF’s Director of Communications, Ademola Olajire, as a result of injury to goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa, the federation had to fast-track National Exempt papers for Tottenham Hotspur of England U23 goalkeeper, Joshua Oluwayemi to join the 22-man squad.
Oluwayemi is expected in the team hotel in Los Angeles today to beef up the goalkeeping department that has only Enyimba FC’s John Noble and Lobi Stars’ Stanley Nwabali.
Saturday’s Clash will be the sixth confrontation between the senior teams of both countries, four of which have ended in draws. The only win in the series has gone to Mexico at the US Gold Cup encounter in Dallas ( State of Texas) 2-1 on 24th June 1995.
Close-fought confrontations include a 1-1 draw at the FIFA Intercontinental Tournament for the King Fahd Cup (now FIFA Confederations Cup) in Saudi Arabia on 13th January 1995 (Mexico prevailed 5-4 on penalties in the quarter final match), and 0-0 draws in friendly matches in Houston and Atlanta the previous decade. A friendly game in Mexico also ended 2-2.
Nigeria’s delegation to the friendly included a number of officials like the NFF General Secretary, Dr Mohammed Sanusi and President of the NFF and FIFA Council Member, Mr Amaju Melvin Pinnick, who honoured an invite by the Government of the State of Maryland in Baltimore on Wednesday, will join up with the contingent in Los Angeles today.
EAGLES IN AMERICA
Goalkeepers: Stanley Nwabili (Lobi Stars); John Noble (Enyimba FC)
Defenders: Olisa Ndah (Akwa United); Adekunle Adeleke (Abia Warriors);
Tope Olusesi (Rangers International); Enyinnaya Kazie (Rivers United);
Imoh Obot (Enyimba FC); Tebo Franklin Degaulle (Nasarawa United);
Lawal Oriyomi Murtala (Kwara United)
Midfielders: Anthony Shimaga (Rangers International); Seth Mayi (Akwa
United); Uche Onwuasonaya (Plateau United); Ibrahim Olawoyin (Rangers
International); Anayo Iwuala (Enyimba FC)
Forwards: Stephen Jude (Kwara United); Charles Ashimene (Akwa United);
Chinonso Ezekwe (Rangers International); Auwalu Ali Malam (Kano
Pillars); Neurot Emmanuel (Plateau United); Abdulmutalif Sanusi
(Katsina United); Mohammed Zulkifilu (Plateau United); Sunday Adetunji (Rivers United)