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Leaking Eagles Defence: Can Olisa Ndah’s Super Eagles return make the difference

Super Eagles Head Coach Jose Paseiro yesterday announced his list of invited players for the international friendly game Vs Portugal on November 17.

Orlando Pirates defender Olisa Ndah makes a return to the team, his first call-up since the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations tournament.

The defender was conspicuously missing on the matchday roster for Orlando Pirates today as they defeated Kaizer Chiefs 6-5 on penalties to reach the Nedbank cup final.

In this article, SportsRation correspondent Nsikakabasi Akpan x-rays the difference Olisa Ndah can bring to a leaking Super Eagles defence as Paseiro builds for the future.


Aside the 10-0 hammering of Sao Tome and Principe on June 13, 2022, Nigeria’s Super Eagles have conceded goals in all other matches under the watch of Coach Jose Paseiro.

On many occasions, the goalkeeping department have shouldered blame due to errors by the duo of Maduka Okoye and Francis Uzoho.

But, it’s a known footballing fact that a good defence is important to helping the goalkeepers confidence for the very important task of goalkeeping.

Since the AFCON error Vs Tunisia and the World Cup Playoffs game vs Ghana, leaking of cheap goals has been the teams biggest undoing.

Just maybe playing behind a confident and relaxed backline with Olisa Ndah will  benefit the two confidence-broke goalkeepers.


From his days with 2021 NPFL Champions Akwa United FC, Olisa Ndah produced eye-catching performances on a consistent basis to become a fan favourite.

The defender joined South Africa PSL giants Orlando Pirates at the end of the 2020/2021 NPFL season .

Ndah made his debut for Pirates in the Soweto Derby clash against Swallows – helping Bucs keep a clean sheet in a 1-0 win in September 2021.


For his gifted defensive exhibitions and range of passing from the back to launch attacks, South African fans nicknamed him Van-Ndah after Dutch defender Virgil Van Dirk.

The Nigerian Defender was instrumental to the BUCS journey to the CAF Confederation Cup final.

A trophy-less first season in South Africa notwithstanding, Ndah had done enough to get a Super Eagles team to the 2021 AFCON where he made one substitute appearance for the Austin Eguaveon tutored Eagles.


Olisa Ndah will arrive the Super Eagles team high in confidence after helping Orlando Pirates to win the MTN8 title on November 5.

The Super Eagles defender played the entire game as the Soweto giants defeated Amuzulu 1-0 in the final game.

In Olisa Ndah, Jose Paseiro has a defender with sublime defensive skills and passing ability to launch attacks.

Calm and confident on the ball like every good manager will like, no wonder Jose Riveiro has continued to trust him in defence for Pirates who are enjoying a successful domestic season.

At 24, what the dreadlocked defender needs is confidence and opportunity with the Super Eagles team, pair him with Watford FC defender Williams Troost-Ekong and watch the Eagles assistant captain excel like in his early days with the Eagles.

For a player of his ability and confident disposition, If he gets the opportunity to start the friendly game Vs World-cup Portugal on November 17, Olisa Ndah will do just enough to earn a place on Jose Paseiro plans for the Eagles going forward.


Just like the burden of inviting Nigeria’s best legs for the game falls on Jose Paseiro’s desk, his starting XI for the game also falls entirely on his desk as well.

Jose Paseiro has always stated he his planning to build a strong national team that will put behind the 2022 World Cup abscence in pursuit of future successes, that must start with the sealing of a leaking backline.

My Opinion.


Goalkeepers: Maduka Okoye (Watford FC, England); Francis Uzoho (AC Omonia, Cyprus); Adebayo Adeleye (Hapoel Jerusalem, Israel)

Defenders: William Ekong (Watford FC, England); Olisa Ndah (Orlando Pirates, South Africa); Calvin Bassey (Ajax FC, The Netherlands); Kevin Akpoguma (TSG Hoffenheim, Germany); Chidiebube Duru (Rivers United); Tyronne Ebuehi (Empoli FC, Italy); Bruno Onyemaechi (Boavista FC, Portugal); Bright Osayi Samuel (Fenerbahce FC, Turkey)

Super Eagles

Midfielders: Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Southampton FC, England); Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Frank Onyeka (Brentford FC, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Aris Thessaloniki, Greece)

Forwards: Moses Simon (Nantes FC, France); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain); Ademola Lookman (Atalanta FC, Italy); Terem Moffi (Lorient FC, France); Paul Onuachu (Genk FC, Belgium); Victor Osimhen (SSC Napoli, Italy); Emmanuel Dennis (Nottingham Forest, England).

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