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Nigerian Football

Which is More United As Akwa United Test Plateau United’s Might?

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BY MFON PATRICK.

 

Plateau United’s unbeaten home record in the Nigeria Professional Football League will face a litmus test this weekend when in form Akwa United visit Rwang Pam Stadium in Jos for Match Day 28 encounter on Sunday.

Football followers in the country will be monitoring with keen interest proceedings from Jos when league leaders Plateau United will engage third placed Akwa United in a top of the table clash.

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This blockbuster fixture will see two exciting teams who are separated by five points on the log go head-to-head for the three points at stake to further boosts their chances of becoming champions at the end of the season.

Plateau United are unbeaten at home in 13 matches and they have stayed on top of the log longer than any other team since the beginning of the season.

Akwa United will be highly motivated going into the game, following their impressive results of seven wins, two draws with one defeat in their last ten games.

Coach Abdu Maikaba has said that his team will not be frightened by their host’s home record but insists that the match will offer the football community the opportunity to watch good football.

“This will be a football match between two best teams in the league who are on a mission to win the league. Plateau United are on top of the log and they will be hoping to remain there, but unfortunately for them we are also aiming for the top spot”.

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“This match will be very interesting because at this stage of the season every point is very crucial.

“They may be unbeaten at home but that will not scare us because we are determined to fight for every available point irrespective of the match venue. We were the first team to beat Plateau United this season so we can do it again”.

Coach Maikaba will be expecting his boys to continue with their superlative performances as they hope to close the gap on the leaders to within two points while also targeting their second away win of the season.

The two free scoring sides have scored 70 goals this season and the game is set to light up Match Day 28 fixtures.

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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Nigerian Football

Nigeria’s broadcast icon, Danladi Bako hails NFF on choice of Finidi George

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Nigerian broadcasting icon, Dr. Nasir Danladi Bako has praised the Nigeria Football Federation for settling for former international and ex-Enyimba FC strategist Finidi George as Head Coach of the Super Eagles.

The Kogunan Sakwatto, 66, who created a plethora of famous TV programmes including Morning RideMastersports and Second Chance, among others, and served as Special Adviser to a number of Sports Ministers many years ago, insisted the NFF leadership struck a bull’s eye with the appointment of the two-time FIFA World Cup star, stating that George oozes class and character, and an iron determination to succeed despite his public carapace of a quiet person.

“Finidi George has that cultured, disciplined mien and personality that makes you want to trust him with a big project. He understands the meaning of constituted authority and right from his playing days, has always displayed the attribute of a team player. He has always had that calm, collected nature even in the face of pressure or danger.

“Above all, he is not someone who thinks he is doing the nation a favour. He is grateful for the opportunity and I believe that he has all it takes to succeed. I am calling on the Federal Ministry of Sports Development, the NFF and Nigerians as a whole to support him to take the Super Eagles to brand-new heights.”

Bako, who holds a doctorate degree in development communication from the Ahmadu Bello University and was Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission between 1999 and 2002, says all hands must now be on deck to ensure victories in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against South Africa and Benin Republic on 7 June and 11 June respectively.

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“No doubt, the NFF got this one appointment right. Very much on point. Now, they should endeavour to give George all the support he needs to succeed in his task of qualifying Nigeria for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.”

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Nigerian Football

Nigeria’s sports minister, Enoh applauds NFF for ‘buying local material’

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Sports Minister Enoh (left) and NFF President Gusau (right) unveil Finidi.

Nigeria’s Minister of Sports Development, John Owan Enoh on Monday praised the leadership of Nigeria Football Federation for settling for an indigenous Head Coach for the Super Eagles, despite the plethora of foreign tacticians who applied for the job.

Enoh, who spoke at the unveiling ceremony of the Eagles’ new substantive Head Coach, Finidi George at the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, charged the NFF to give the former winger all the support to succeed, while also soliciting the support of all Nigerians for the new helmsman.

“As a student of the University of Calabar in those days, I used to go to the UJ Esuene Stadium to watch Calabar Rovers, which included Finidi George. I am excited to see him seated here as the new Head Coach of the Super Eagles.”

President of NFF,  Ibrahim Musa Gusau exuded delight with the ‘new chapter’ the Federation is opening about the Nigeria game, saying the football-governing body is determined to fully support George and his assistants to lead the Super Eagles to new heights.

“When we returned from the Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire, we began the search for a new Head Coach. There was a plethora of foreign applicants, far more than the indigenous applicants. However, we undertook a thorough process that has produced an indigenous Coach and we are very happy about that. Finidi George was part of the technical crew that came close to winning the AFCON, and we have faith in him that he will lead the team to the title next time.  

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“Our objective now is to ensure the enthronement of excellence at all levels of the National Teams.”

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Nigerian Football

No more bench-warmers in the Super Eagles, says Finidi George

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New man on the managerial saddle of the Super Eagles, Finidi George has stated that  he will invite for international assignments, only players who feature regularly at their clubs either in Nigeria or in the diaspora, and promised that the Super Eagles will remain even more competitive in the years ahead.

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