Rohr Arrives Eagles’ Camp for World Cup Qualifier

Jerome Obunita
Rohr Arrives In Eagles’ Camp
Super Eagles technical adviser, Gernot Rohr and some of his technical assistants on Sunday landed in Abuja for the commencement of camping and training toward next week’s 2018 FIFA World Cup opening qualifier away to Zambia in Ndola.
Rohr, who has now been provided with accommodation in Abuja by Nigeria Football Federation, jetted into town aboard Air France in company of his technical assistant, Jean Luc Royer and video analyst, Nabil Trabelsi.
Before then, the team’s backroom staff were early birds at Bolton White Hotel and Apartments in Abuja, with chief coach, Salisu Yusuf first to arrive.
However, assistant coach, Imama Amapakabo is expected on Monday, after he would have picked the Nigeria Professional Football League trophy with his club, Rangers International of Enugu on the final day of the season 24 hours earlier.
The invited players are expected to fill the camp as from Monday, with training sessions scheduled for morning and evening each day before departure to Ndola by chartered flight on Friday.
The clash between the Eagles and Chipolopolo, who both played a memorable Africa Cup of Nations final in Tunis in 1994 that Nigeria won 2-1, will start at 1.30pm on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Eagles captain, Mikel John Obi has debunked reports of his being injured, saying he is fully fit and ready for Sunday’s cracker at Levy Nwanawasa Stadium against Chipolopolo.
“I don’t know where the story about my being injured came from. I have no injury. All the other players and myself are fit and ready and we are determined to start the World Cup race on a winning note,” Mikel told Eagles’ administrator, Dayo Enebi Achor.
Gero Scores In Sweden
-Ike Ugbo, Tammy Abraham Shake
Former youth international and ex-Rangers International of Enugu striker, Alhaji Gero was among the goals scorers in Sweden this past weekend, while Chelsea’s Nigerian-born kids, Ike Ugbo and Tammy Abraham also continue hogging headlines in England.
In Sweden, Gero was pleased to finally open his scoring account for Östersunds FK in their 6-1 rout of relegation threatened Falkenberg on Saturday
If unofficial and Cup games are not included in the mix, it took Gero 855 minutes before he netted his first goal for ÖFK in the top-flight Swedish Allsvenskan.
Gero’s brace against Falkenberg was his third goal in the Allsvenskan since his debut having found the net once for öster back in the 2013 season.
The 22-year-old was denied a hat-trick after he was substituted in the 76th minute, four minutes before the introduction of Falkenberg number 18 Hakeem Araba, but he is now happy to finally make hay in the Scandinavian nation.
“I’m really happy and motivated by my coaches and teammate because I am unlucky, when the session started I was injured and it is tough to get back and to be in shape.
“I have been working really hard to get to score goals in the season and now I finally got them yesterday and my door is open now with goals and I have never been under pressure,” Gero said
In England, Ike Ugbo made a world of difference for Chelsea’s youth team, as they beat West Ham United 1-0 in the U18 Premier League on Saturday.
Chelsea dominated in the early stages and were rewarded in the 16th minute when Ugbo fired home a rebound after the opposing goalkeeper, Howes had stopped Taylor-Crossdale.
It was Ugbo’s third of the season for the youth teams of Chelsea  and it came despite The Blues playing with ten men for the last 28 minutes but managed to secure all three points at Cobham.
The Blues’ U18 manager, Jody Morris named Ugbo in his starting line-up while fellow-Nigerian-born midfielder, Tariq Uwakwe was an unused substitute and Olatunjji Akinola lasted the distance for The Hammers.
Still in England, only one player in the country’s top four tiers has scored more goals than Chelsea’s on loan striker, Tammy Abraham following the latest games that were played this weekend.
Abraham, who is currently lining out for Bristol City, has one of the best conversion rates in the English Championship, and was on target in the second half as his side secured a 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
His 66th minute strike against Forest puts him level with Manchester City’s Argentina star, Sergio Aguero with 11 goals in all competitions so far this season.
Abraham has found the net eight times in the Championship and has scored in every single round in the League Cup, but he is still behind Scunthorpe United’s Josh Morris, who is the top scorer in England’s top four tiers, with 12 goals to his name.
Musa Challenges Vardy To Race
-To Determine Leicester’s Fastest Attacker
Leicester City of England winger, Ahmed Musa has thrown a challenge at his team mate and fellow-attacker, Jamie Vardy, saying he wants to find out which of the strikers is the fastest.
Both possess blistering pace but the statistics from this season make for unhappy reading for Musa as his team mate has the edge.
In terms of top speed, Vardy has reached an incredible 35.1 km/h and the former CSKA Moscow of Russia star peaked at 33.93 km/h. Musa wants a one-on-one contest to test himself against Leicester’s Premier League winning hero.
Musa has seen his game-time cut by Islam Slimani’s strong run of form but seeing him get off the bench and line up alongside Vardy is enough to give any manager cause for concern, which the ex-Kano Pillars and VV Van Venlo of Holland star says he wants to do
Musa told British newspaper, The Guardian: ‘We haven’t tried yet so I can’t say now who is the quickest. But I tell you this – we’re going to have a race one day.
‘My friends called me Cristiano Ronaldo because I was playing on the wing and they thought I had a little bit of speed like him.’
Ochuko Moves To India  
Sri Lanka-based Delta State-born youngster, Ochuko Moses is spending time away on holiday from Renown SC of Colombo, playing seven-a-side football with Gymkhana Thrissur FC of India.
The dreadlocks-weari9ng attacker, who arrived in Sri Lanka early this year, after a sting in Jordan, is lining out with the Thrissur-based side both to keep fit and probably catch the eye of scouts for a potential transfer.
Ochuko, who grew up in Okoko area of Lagos, took to Facebook at the weekend to reveal his new location and ambitions, while also chipping in a phrase to celebrate Nigeria’s 56th Independence Day anniversary on Saturday.
He admitted that his appearance in the competition is not with a formal contract, but believes something can come out of his spell with the club from Thrissur, which has a strong soccer tradition among other cities in India.
Thrissur, originally Thiru Siva Peroor and previously known by its anglicised form as Trichur, is the fourth largest city, the third largest urban agglomeration in Kerala (Pop. 1,854,783) and the 20th largest in India.
The city, which was built around a 65-acre (26 ha) hillock called Thekkinkadu Maidan and seats the Vadakkumnathan temple, is also the headquarters of the Thrissur District.
Thrissur, which was once the capital of the Kingdom of Cochin, is located 300 kilometres (186 mi) towards north-west of the state capital, Thiruvananthapuram.
Football is by far the most popular sport in Thrissur, to the extent that the city and district has contributed many top players, clubs, coaches, tournaments and stadiums to the round leather game in India.
Gymkhana is an upcoming football club from Thrissur, has won many tournaments across Kerala, where a new football team based in Thrissur will be coming soon with a dedicated stadium, where Ochuko hopes to shine should he gain a contract from his efforts in the 7-A-Side competition.
He disclosed at length: “I’m in India to play India 7-a-side game for the main time so I can get myself busy and get something out of it.
“The 7-a-side game is between the player and the manager his dealing with. The manager will be giving the player match to play every day for good 6month. Every match you play they will be paying you every day. 
“After the 7-a-side game the manger will take the player to club did for trials. His favour will never stop flowing in my life#Able God#Happy INDEPENDENT#NIGERIA.”
Setubal Will Bounce Back – Agu
Vitoria Setubal of Portugal midfielder, Mikel Agu says his Portuguese club will bounce back to top reckoning after they lost their last two matches in the league.
Vitoria Setubal has lost to Pacos de Ferreira and Sporting Braga after going five matches unbeaten at the start of the season.
Mikel Agu, who is on loan from FC Porto, said his new club are capable of doing much more beginning with today’s home game against Maritimo.
“We are now down on the table after we were third by the start of the season and I know we can do a lot better,” he said.
“We were all disappointed we lost our second straight game especially after we began the season on a very bright note.
“We have trained very hard for this match and we hope to get a result.”
Vitoria Setubal are now 11th on the table on eight points from seven matches, two points ahead of 13th-placed Maritimo.
Gateway Versus ABS On Hold
Abimbola Urges Monitoring Of Officials
Gateway United of Abeokuta coach, Samuel Abimbola has called for close monitoring of match officials for his side’s crucial Nigeria National League match away to Abubakar Bukola Saraki (ABS) FC of Ilorin, even as the game has been put on hold indefinitely.
NNL officials had to put the game on hold in order to allow for the resolution of a protest Gateway had lodged over one of their earlier matches, but Abimbola is still planning ahead for the ultimate match of his promotion chasing side.
The encounter will see the Ogun State government-owned team battle ABS in their last match of the season in Ilorin, Kwara State capital, with promotion from the second-tier league at stake.
Speaking about his permutations for the game, Abimbola, who led his side to a 3-0 thrashing against high riding Insurance FC of Benin City in their last home match the previous weekend at Dipo Dina International Stadium, Ijebu-Ode, said the centre referee and assistant will have to be on their toes during the fixture.
Chigozim Metuh grabbed a brace in Gateway’s last match, hitting target in the 3rd and 85th minutes, while Uche John also scored in the 77th minute to return the club to the summit of the table with 21 points.   
However, Gateway must avoid defeat against ABS, or make do with a draw, in the all important match in Ilorin, to secure promotion to the elite Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL).
He expressed confidence that the team would work very hard to get the desired result in the match, as the boys are ready to go, while buttressing that the club management and other stakeholders are doing their best for a better outing in the match.
Abimbola particularly appreciated Ogun State governor, Ibikunle Amosun for giving the club financial assistance and called for more prayers from the club’s fans as well as all people of the state, as he assured them of a brilliant performance in Ilorin.
On the protest filed against Confine FC of Akwa Ibom State for alleged fielding of an illegible player during a 0-1 loss in Ikot-Ekpene, Abimbola said Gateway are waiting to meet the league organizers to tender all the evidences against the opponents.
Abimbola, however, stressed that his side has what it takes to seal the ticket, but the former Flying Eagles assistant coach declared in an exclusive chat with SportsDay that the team would have already been celebrating  promotion if not for bad officiating they have been saddled with in away matches.
“We are approaching the match against ABS with all seriousness it deserves and we are not leaving any stone un-turned in the match.
“We just pray God to touch the heart of match officials. If not for the challenges we’ve been facing in our away matches, we should be comfortable by now and celebrating our promotion.
“But, with the changes in the league, I believe the organizers will ensure close monitoring of all matches and be fair to every team for a better side to emerge at the end of the season,” Abimbola stated.