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NPFL Pre-season: Ejike Uzoenyi returns to action for Rangers

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A solitary strike from Reuben Bala on Twenty-one minutes was all that was needed by Rangers to dispatch hard-fighting Lobi Stars in a pre-season friendly encounter at Awka City Stadium, on Tuesday.

Fielding his best possible squad, coach Abdul Maikaba had Detan Ogundare between the sticks with Sani Shehu and Philip Clement as wing-backs and captain, Uche John and David Chimezie in the heart of the defense just as Emmanuel Charles was tasked with the defensive midfield role.

The trio of Ejike Uzoenyi, Michael Ibeh, and Naziru Auwalu took charge in the middle of the pack with Reuben Bala and Elijah Ani tasked with finding the opponent’s net.

As early as the 8th minute of play two opportunities had gone begging for the host as mesmerizing Uzoenyi had supplied his trademark crosses that were missed by his teammates.

But, there was no stopping the ‘Flying Antelopes’ when Naziru Auwalu released a deep penetrating pass that sliced open the visitor’s defense to find Elijah who laid a delicate pass for Reuben to slot past an out-rushing Emmanuel Daniel for the only goal of the encounter.

Opportunities fell for both sides to score more goals in the encounter as astute defending, quality goalkeeping, and some unpardonable misses from the attackers all combined to rob the match of more goals.

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Former Super Eagles star hails Aboubakar and Choupo-Moting after dramatic draw vs Serbia

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Ifeanyi Udeze singled out the duo of Vincent Aboubakar and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting for praises following their terrific performances for Cameroon against Serbia on Monday.

The veterans both scored as the former African Champions picked their first point at the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Qatar, in a six-goal thriller with Serbia in Group G.

Cameroon took the lead through Jean-Charles Castelletto but Strahinja Pavlovic and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic replied to give Serbia a half-time advantage.

Serbia made it 3-1 with Aleksandar Mitrovic’s second half goal, before the Indomitable Lions roared back thanks to substitute Vincent Aboubakar and Bayern Munich forward Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.

Aboubakar reduced the deficit with a superb lob after beating the offside trap, he then created the equalizer scored by Choupo-Moting three minutes later.

“I’m happy they came back into the game and earned a draw. I thought they had lost it,” he said on Brila FM’s coverage of the World Cup match.

“Vincent Aboubakar though the was offside but VAR confirmed it was not offside. He’s very happy. At least he has scored at the World Cup.

“Choupo-Moting is an experienced player who knows how to position himself. If a player doesn’t have fitness, he must be intelligent enough to know when attack the ball.”

The Italia 90 quarter finalists will face Brazil in their final Group game. Only a win will put them in a good position to reach the last 16.

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Udeze slams Rigobert Song for Axing Onana from Cameroon World Cup squad

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Former Super Eagles defender Ifeanyi Udeze believes Cameroon coach Rigobert Song poorly managed the situation with first choice goalkeeper André Onana, suggesting it was wrong to axe the 26 year-old.

Onana was reportedly dropped from the starting line up before the Group G match between Cameroon and Serbia.

It was reported that the goalkeeper questioned Song and vowed never to adapt his style of play in the team.

Song however dropped the former Ajax star, and the Indomitable Lions went on to concede three goals against Serbia, although they managed to savage a point from the game.

“I believe there must have been issue between Onana and the coach. Rigobert Song,” Udeze who played at the 2002 FIFA World Cup said on Brila FM’s coverage of the tournament in Qatar.

“Song should have managed the situation. After the tournament, you may wish not to invite the player as the coach if you remain there or even as the FA President but not during the tournament.

“When Jay-Jay Okocha was playing for the Super Eagles, if the coach felt he showboated a lot, he will be replaced but will still start the next game or be part of the game from the bench,”

“Cameroon had the chance to score but they gave away this game. You can’t throw your best players out. The worse case scenario, you substitute the player. This is a tournament proper.

“When Aliou Cissé’s Senegal lost to the Netherlands and he defended his keeper, Mendy, he knew what he was doing.

“Cisse knows how to manage players. He’s a good man manager. His keeper made a mistake but he defended him. And even Kalidou Koulibaly against the Netherlands. And the next game, they won.

“Unless the behavior of the player is so bad, you have to do proper man management.”

Udeze also heaped praise on the team for picking a point, despite trailing 3-1.

Cameroon will face Brazil in their final group game at the Lusail Stadium, Lusail on Friday.

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Gutted! Kelechi Nwakali out for three weeks

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Super Eagles midfielder Kelechi Nwakali will be out of action for at least three weeks.

Nwakali sustained a knee injury while playing for his Spanish club SD Ponferradina against Malaga on Saturday.

He was replaced by Ghanaian midfielder, Sabit Abdulahi, in the 57th minute after injuring his knee.

The 24 year-old, however has started his recovery and remains positive, he’ll be back on the pitch sooner than expected.

“Road to be back see you in 3 weeks”, He posted on his social media handle, Monday.

Road to be back see you in 3 weeks pic.twitter.com/XZAiUhOkrp

— Nwakali25 (@nwakali25) November 28, 2022

He has made 16 appearances for Ponferradina this season with just a goal to his name.

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