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LMC official commends home-based Super Eagles for beating Niger Republic

PHOTO: The Super Eagles

PHOTO: The Super Eagles

Salihu Abubakar, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the League Management Company (LMC), has commended the Super Eagles, particularly the home-based players, for their 2-0 defeat of their Nigerien counterparts.

Abubakar, who was reacting to the team’s victory, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the future of the national teams depended on the Nigerian leagues.

NAN reports that the Nigerian side, made up mostly of players from the domestic league beat the Mena of Niger Republic on Tuesday in an international friendly in Port Harcourt.

Sunshine Stars FC’s duo of striker Prince Aggrey and goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa, as well as Solomon Kwambe of Warri Wolves, featured in the encounter.

National under-23 team star Mohammed Usman, Chima Akas of Sharks FC and Austin Obaroakpo of Abia Warriors also made the team.

Russia-based Ahmed Musa had opened scoring with a penalty kick in the 12th minute of the encounter, while Moses Simon doubled the lead in the 82nd to ensure victory.

Abubakar told NAN that the victory had shown that national teams all over the world depended greatly on their domestic leagues to survive.

“The future of Nigeria football lies in the domestic league and, over time, analysts have said that the strength of a national team is in its domestic league.

“We thank God that our league has been doing well and its translating to good performance in the national team. We at LMC are happy with that.

“Going forward, I think from the junior team to the main national team, we will see more players coming from the domestic leagues,’’ he said.

Abubakar also noted that the performance of the home-based players had shown that there were lots of talents to be harnessed in the domestic leagues.

He said what the country needed was to give the domestic league players the opportunity to blossom.

“I am very happy with that performance, which means that there are lots of talents in the domestic game.

“We only need to open our mind towards the players and give them the opportunity to excel and do well for Nigeria, just like they have done previously.

“The fact that a player is coming from abroad doesn’t give him an automatic shirt. If we have a player at home doing better than him, then he should be picked ahead of him,’’ Abubakar added.

He urged Super Eagles’ Head Coach Sunday Oliseh to always pick the best legs to represent the country without minding where the players plied their football trade.

NAN reports that the Eagles struggled in the first half of the friendly encounter, but later improved in the second half.

The change followed substitutions by Oliseh who recorded his first win with the team.

The team had played a 0-0 draw with Tanzania on Saturday in a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier in Dar es Salaam.

Majority of the players who featured for the Eagles in that match were drawn from the leagues of overseas countries.



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