Ahead of the upcoming AFCON 2023 qualifiers fixtures match against the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone, Nigeria national football team manager José Peseiro was at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena in Onikan, Lagos State, to watch three of the four home-based players invited to the Super Eagles’ squad.
The players were participating in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Super 6 tournament with their various clubs to determine the champions of the 2022/23 NPFL season. The Portuguese manager has been deliberate with including home-based players and wanted to see for himself what these players can do in a competitive game.
Super Eagles coach Jose Peseiro watching the NPFL Super 6.
He called up four home-based player ahead of the AFCON qualifiers clash against Sierra Leone.
GK: Victor Sochima (Rivers United) and Olorunleke Ojo (Enyimba FC)
DEF: Ebube Duru (Rivers United)
MID: Divine Nwachukwu pic.twitter.com/kKuVIbUbek
— Sports Radio Brila FM (@Brilafm889) June 9, 2023
Three of four home-based players in action with Peseiro present
The 63-year-old is operating on the directive of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to include home-based players in every selection and as a failsafe, he has been deliberate in scouting the players of the NPFL himself.
The former Venezuela national team manager, after a tour of the league in the soon-to-be-concluded season, invited Rivers United duo Chidiebube Duru and Victor Sochima, Bendel Insurance midfielder Divine Nwachukwu and Enyimba FC goalkeeper Olorunleke Ojo to the AFCON qualifiers 2023 squad of the Nigeria Super Eagles.
The squad was announced last week and the camp opened over the weekend. However, the players who he invited will be joining him and the rest of the Super Eagles starting Monday after the Super 6 tournament wrapped up.
He watched as Enyimba FC became nine-time NPFL champions on the day thanks to their better goal difference over Remo Stars and Rivers United. Three of the four invitees – Duru, Sochima and Nwachukwu – started for their clubs but Ojo was on the bench for his.
— Enyimba FC (@EnyimbaFC) June 11, 2023
The goalkeeper would be the big winner of the night, however, as Enyimba lifted the title after holding Duru and Sochima’s Rivers United to a 1-1 draw on the final kickoff of the day. Duru and Sochima will miss out on the CAF Champions League next season but will represent Nigeria at the CAF Confederations Cup. Ojo, on the other hand, will be playing with Enyimba at the CAF Champions League.
Peseiro receives flak for Ahmed Musa call-up
Peseiro did not speak to the media after the games at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena in Inikan, Lagos State but Goalball Live has gathered that the Portuguese manager was impressed with the displays of his invited players and the NPFL teams in general.
However, he still continues to receive flak for some of the selections in his latest squad list. Chief among them is the selection of the Super Eagles captain and Nigeria’s all-time record appearance maker Ahmed Musa.
Victor Boniface, Europa League's joint top scorer not called up. Gift Orban, not called up but sure there's space for Ahmed Musa who hasn't played 90 minutes of competitive football in a year.
And you guys wanted Saka to come join their hullabaloo. https://t.co/EE20domARf
— Tùká (@TukaLetura) June 9, 2023
Musa, who plays at Turkish Super Lig side Sivasspor, has not played a full match in almost a year. Among Nigerian players abroad, players like Gift Orban, Terem Moffi and Victor Boniface have had better seasons. Peseiro, however, stuck to his guns and called up Musa to the chagrin of Nigerians who were hopeful of seeing the aforementioned players in the squad.
This article was most recently revised and updated 4 months ago