Emmanuel Adebayor has returned to the Togo national team after ending his self-imposed international exile ahead of Tuesday’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations home qualifier against Tunisia.
Adebayor played for Togo at the 2006 World Cup, their only appearance at the tournament, but has made himself unavailable for selection on several occasions and criticised the “chaos” in the FTF.
The Togolese Football Federation through its secretary general Pierre Lamadokou confirmed the former Tottenham Hotspurs striker’s return to the national team set-up in an interview with AFP on Monday.
“Adebayor joined the national team yesterday after negotiations with FTF officials. He trained just like his team-mates.
“He will be with his team-mates again on Monday afternoon for the final training session before the game against Tunisia.” ” Lamadokou stated.
Adebayor last played for Togo in June last year, and turned down an initial approach from FTF president Colonel Kossi Akpovy prior to last week’s reverse fixture with Tunisia to focus on his club future at Crystal Palace.
Adebayor, 32, joined Palace in January until the end of the season, having been without a club following his release from Tottenham Hotspur last September.
Tunisia are second in Group A after three matches, level on six points with both Liberia and Tunisia, following last week’s 1-0 defeat in Monastir.
Only the 13 group winners are guaranteed places at next year’s tournament in Gabon, while the best two runners-up also qualify.
Tunisia have moved to top spot in Group A following a narrow 1-0 win over visitors Togo in Monastir on Friday.
Youssef Msakni bagged the all-important winner just two minutes into the second half to send his side top as they became level on six points with both Togo and Liberia.
The Tunisians, however, enjoy a much better goal difference with five goals more than second-placed Togo as they become in charge after three games
In other centers Swaziland and Zimbabwe remained level at the top of Group L after a 1-1 draw.
Felix Badenhors scored for Swaziland in the second minute, but the visitors were able to equalise through a Ndokuito own goal just before half-time.
Malawi and Guinea played to a goalless draw in the group’s other game to stay three points back of the leaders.
Cheikh Moulaye Khalil scored his second goal of the game in stoppage time to give Mauratania a 2-1 win over Gambia and move them level on points atop Group M with Cameroon, ahead of the Indomitable Lions’ match against South Africa on Saturday.
Also on Friday, tournament hosts Gabon defeated Sierra Leone 2-1 in a friendly.
Rivers United defender, Yaovi Douhadji has expressed delight following his inclusion in the Togo squad for the country’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifying double header against Tunisia this month.
Douhadji was named in the 25-man squad made public by the head coach of the Hawks, Tom Saintfiet on Tuesday.
The big defender has played twice for United in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) this season (against Enyimba and Mountain of Fire and Miracles FC) and is now in line to make his international debut.
“I am very happy to get this chance to play for my country. It is the dream of every footballer to defend the colours of his country.
“This is the first time I will be playing for my country and the games against the Tunisians will be big matches.
“I thank the coach for his faith in me and I promise not to let him down,” the defender told Rivers United media.
Togo’s Hawks will meet the Carthage Eagles in the first of the two Afcon 2017 qualifiers between March 23-26 at the Stade Olympique de Radès, Radès with the reverse fixture taking place at Stade de Kégué, Lomé between March 26-29 .
The Hawks are currently in first place in Group A of 2017 Afcon qualifying with maximum points after two games.
Tunisia and Nigeria shared the spoils in Friday’s Group C clash at the ongoing 2016 African Nations Championship as the tie between the two teams ended in a 1-1 draw
Super Eagles coach Sunday Oliseh made three changes to his starting line for the game with Chisom Chikatara, Austin Obaroakpo and Usman Mohammed all getting their first starts in Rwanda.
Despite the attacking forays by both teams, the first half failed to produce any goal and the Tunisians were even denied what looked liked a legitimate goal by the match referee at the stroke of half time.
However, seven minutes into the second half, Nigeria went ahead against the run of play and it was Chikatara that broke the deadlock after he was set up by Osas Okoro for his 4th goal of the tournament.
On the hour mark, Prince Aggreh failed to make the most of a through ball by Mohammed that could have seen the Eagles double their lead..
Tunsia danger mar Akaichi came close for the North Africans moments later, but his header was off target in the 63rd minute of explosive action.
Tunisia deservedly drew level twenty minutes from time and it was Akaichi who turned inside the box and scored his third goal of the tournament.
The Carthage Eagles came close to taking the lead, but substitute Kalu Orji cleared it off the line as Tunisia piled on more pressure.
On Tuesday, the Eagles take on Guinea in Gisenyi while Tunisia, on two points, play Niger Republic in Kigali.
— CAF (@CAF_Online) January 22, 2016
How The Two Teams Lined Up
Carthage Eagles: Rami Jeridi, Hamza Mathlouthi, Zied Boughattas, Zied Derbali, Ali Maaloul, Karim Aouadhi, Marouane Tej, Abdelkader Oueslati, Amine Ben Amor, Mohamed Ali Moncer, Ahmed Akaichi
Super Eagles: Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Matthew Etim, Chima Akas, Austin Obaroakpo, Stephen Eze (Orji Kalu 46′), Paul Onobi, Ifeanyi Matthew, Osas Okoro, Prince Aggreh (Ezekiel Bassey 81′), Usman Mohammed (Ikechukwu Ibenegbu 71′), Chisom Chikatara
The Home Eagles have a chance qualifying for the quarter finals of the ongoing African Nations Championships, CHAN later today provided they can soar above their Tunisian counterparts in Friday’s Group C clash billed for the Kigali Stadium.
Though the Eagles started their campaign in Rwanda on a blistering note with the 4-1 demolition of their West African neighbors, the Mena of Niger, a much tougher clash is expected today against the Tunisians who on their part were held to a 2-2 draw by Guinea on match day one.
There are mounting expectations on Coach Sunday Oliseh and his boys to deliver against the North Africans who are desperate to catch up if not overtake Nigeria after Friday’s clash.
It is not sure if the Nigeria coach will hand Chisom Chikatara who was the hero for the Eagles in the game against Niger a starter’s shirt or he will stick with the largely ineffective Sunshine Stars forward, Tunde Adeniji.
What is however sure is that Coach Oliseh craves for improvement from his team after starting out with a bang against the Mena.
“It’s a very good start and we want to build on that. I believe we can do better and the team will keep improving. I want the fans to continue praying for the team to do well” Oliseh declared.
On their part, Tunisia are expected to be more cautious in their approach to Friday’s contest as they really rue the points they dropped against Guinea after allowing the West Africans into the game with a late equaliser.
Akaichi scored twice for Tunisia and looked a threat going forward and he will be the man to count on when Nigeria come calling on Friday.
The Tunisia Coach Hatem Missaoui is talking tough as he firmly declares that his team have no reason to fear the rampaging Eagles.
“We cannot be afraid of Nigeria. If we are afraid of them, there is no need to play the game. They played well against Niger, but we too have a good team too.”He said
Interestingly, Tunisia have a better head-to-head record in matches against Nigeria at full international level.
In 17 meetings, Nigeria have won only five of those games while losing six and drawing five to give Tunisia a statistical edge over the Super Eagle going into Friday’s game.
Goalkeepers: Ikechukwu Ezenwa,Olufemi Thomas,Okiemute Odah
Defenders: Austin Oboroakpo, Kalu Orji Okagbue, Jamiu Alimi, Matthew Etim Chima Akas, Stephen Eze, Christopher Madaki Maichibi,Samson Gbadebo
Midfielders: Ifeanyi Matthew, Paul Onobi,Usman Mohammed,Yaro Bature, Bartholomew Ibenegbu,Ibrahim Attah Salawu
Attackers: Osas Okoro,Ezekiel Bassey,Tunde Adeniji,Bright Onyedikachi, Chisom Chikatara, Prince Aggreh
Goalkeepers; Ali Jemal, Mohamed Zied Jebali, Rami Jeridi
Defenders; Ali Maaloul, Ali Mechan, Derbali Zied, Iheb Mbarki, Marouane Tej, Mathlouthi Hamza, Slimane Kchok, Zied Boughattas
Midfielders; Abdelkader Oueslati, Ahmed Khalil, Karim Aouadhi, Meriah Yassine, Mohamed Ali Monser, Mohamed Amine Ben Amor
Strikers; Ahmed Akaichi, Ahmed Hosni, Edem Rjaibi, Essifi Hichem, Saad Bguir, Seifeddin Jaziri
Shooting Stars ace Ajani Ibrahim has expressed optimism about Nigeria’s chances at the ongoing 2016 Championship of African Nations (CHAN) tournament in Rwanda.
Ajani who did not make the team to the competition is confident in the ability of his home-based colleagues to win the title.
The Super Eagles B team made their debut at the tournament in South Africa 2013 and emerged as the third best team after defeating Zimbabwe 1-0 in the losers final. This year they’ve been placed in Group C alongside Niger, Tunisia, and Guinea.
‘Eagles have what it takes to lift the trophy in Kigali,’ Ajani told 366football.com. ‘The team should forget the fact that they’ve neither played in the final nor lifted the trophy in the past.’
He insists that the team has trained very well and played good test matches before hitting Kigali.
‘2016 could be a turn-around edition for Nigeria. The team has had good preparations before the tournament and should be able to deliver,’ he added.
Nigeria will begin their journey in CHAN with their first match on Monday against Niger Republic.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has confirmed the squad numbers of the Homebased Super Eagles for the 2016 CHAN tournament in Rwanda on their official website.
Nigeria who came third at the last tournament in South Africa have been placed in Group C alongside Niger, Guinea and Tunisia.
Sunshine Stars midfielder Paul Onobi will wear the revered No. 10 shirt. He won admiration for his brilliant display on his international debut during the 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifier against Swaziland.
The absence of Gbolahan Salami allowed Tunde Adeniji No.9 jersey.
Femi Thomas will wear the No.16 jersey, while Ikechukwu Ezenwa retains his no.1 shirt.
Abia Warriors Austin Obaroakpo will wear the No.5 shirt while captain Chima Akas and Bartholomew Ibenegbu have been given the No.3 and No.12 respectively.
The team managed by Sunday Oliseh will face Niger Republic in their opening game on January 18 at the Stade Régional Nyamirambo, Kigali.
The full squad numbers:
1. Ezenwa Ikechukwu
2. Kalu Okogbue Orji
3. Akas Chima Uche
4. Usman Muhammed
5. Austin Ajokpaoghena Obaroakpo
6. Jamiu Alimi
7. Obus Prince Aggreh
8. Mathew Ifeanyi
9. Babatunde Temitope Adeniji
10. Paul Odeh Onobi
11. Ezekiel Joseph Bassey
12. Bartholomew Ibenegbu
13. Chisom Elvis Chikatara
14. Etim Mathew
15. Salau Ibrahim
16. Afebunhame Olufemi Thomas
17. Osadebamwen Moses Okoro
18. Yaro Kawu Bature
19. Maichibi Christopher
20. Onyedikachi Bright Uchechukwu
21. Stephen Eze
22. Samson Dare Gbadebo
23. Okiemute Odah.
The Super Eagles of Nigeria will depart the shores of the country this weekend for another training camp in South Africa 366football.com can report.
According to the Media Officer, Toyin Ibitoye, the fight for inclusion in the final team has been very fierce.
Ibitoye revealed that the team has trained four times since Sunday, adding that they will be training two times daily until the leave on Saturday.
Ibitoye revealed that the team would arrive in Lagos by 7.00 a.m. on Saturday and travel to South Africa by 1.00 p.m. aboard an Arik Air flight same day.
In the absence of Chief Coach Sunday Oliseh, who has been recovering from an ailment in Belgium, the team has been led by assistant coaches, Salisu Yusuf, Jean Francois Losciuto and Tijani Babangida.
Oliseh will join the team in Pretoria, South Africa, for the final phase of preparation for the CHAN.
They will play two friendlies against Cote d’Ivoire and Angola before moving to Rwanda for the CHAN.
Nigeria is in Group C alongside Tunisia, Guinea and Niger in the championship, which kicks off on January 16.
One of Nigeria’s Group C foes at next year’s African Nation Championship(CHAN), Tunisia have concluded plans to play host Rwanda’s Amavubi in a tune-up game as teams intensify their preparations.
Rwanda’s National Football Federation (FERWAFA) announced that the friendly against Tunisia will be played at Umuganda Stadium in Rubavu District on January 10.
The biennial tournament is for players who feature in their domestic leagues.
The 2016 CHAN will take place from January 16 to February 7 and it is the second time Nigeria will be competing.
Having missed out on the first two editions, Nigeria finished as Bronze medallists in her maiden participation in the tournament made exclusively for players plying their trade in their respective home countries.
As stated by the Local Organising Committee (LOC), Group A will be based at the Amahoro Stadium in Kigali, Group B in Butare, Group C at the Nyamirambo Stadium, also in Kigali, with Gisenyi hosting Group D.