Salami Leads Eagles’ Attack Against Mozambique.

Super Eagles head coach Stephen Keshi has confirmed midfielder, Ikenna Paul and Benjamin Francis will miss Wednesday’s crucial encounter against Mozambique.

The Nigeria national team B will have to win their second group game of the ongoing African Nations Championship (CHAN), if they are to keep quarter-final qualification hopes alive.

Wednesday’s encounter, which comes in the wake of their opening day 2-1 loss to Mali, has been scheduled for the Cape Town Stadium by 7pm (Nigerian time).

The coach said Sunshine Stars playmaker Paul suffered a muscle strain in the Eagles training on Monday while Francis of Heartland failed to recover in time from the knock he suffered during the opening Group A game on Saturday.

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“Ikenna Paul and Benjamin Francis are ruled out of the game. We would have to rely on other players to do the job,” confirmed Keshi.

Enyimba Bright Esieme could be called upon to stand in for the injured Francis- in what will be his debut for the Eagles- while Shehu Abdullahi of Kano Pillars is in line to replace Paul. Joshua Obaje is also in contention for a starting role.

Gbolahan Salami, Scorer of Nigeria's First Goal in the African Nations Championship.
Gbolahan Salami, Scorer of Nigeria’s First Goal in the African Nations Championship.

Shooting Stars striker and scorer of Nigeria’s only goal in last weekend’s loss to Mali, Gbolahan Salami, is expected to front the attack, alongside Ejike Uzoenyi and Ifeanyi Ede.

Keshi, however, expressed optimism over Nigeria’s chances of reaching the knock-out round despite a lacklustre performance against the Eagles of Mali.

“We have seen in the past that teams lose their first game and still go ahead and win the tournament,” he added.

“In 2010 here Spain lost to Switzerland in their first game and still went ahead to win, so anything can still happen.”

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