The Super Eagles will on Thursday conclude their tour of the United States of America with a match against Ecuador at the 25,000 –capacity Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.
In what was coach José Santos Peseiro’s first outing with the squad, an under-strength Nigeria put up a gallant fight but were unlucky to lose 1-2 to Mexico in a game of two halves in Dallas on Saturday.
England –based forward Emmanuel Dennis has joned the team and defender Olaoluwa Aina has shaken off a knock to train with the squad on Tuesday.
The match against the Ecuadorians comes exactly a week before the Super Eagles tackle the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone at the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja in their opener to 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying series.
A total of 20 players are now available to Peseiro and the rest of the coaching crew to pick from against the feisty South Americans, known for their pace, poise and power.
Midfielder Innocent Bonke is unlikely to play any part in Thursday’s session, but home –based professional Chiamaka Madu, who saw action in the second period against the El Tri, has been working assiduously hard to step up to the plate in the former’s absence.
Goalkeepers Francis Uzoho, Olorunleke Ojo and Adewale Adeyinka are all fit and in form, with Captain William Ekong, Aina, Chidozie Awaziem, Sani Faisal, Oluwasemilogo Ajayi, Calvin Bassey and Ibrahim Buhari all ready to be involved.
Joseph Ayodele-Aribo, Alex Iwobi, Madu, Terem Moffi and Babatunde Bello are up for it in midfield while Dennis, Cyriel Dessers, Moses Simon, Victor Mbaoma and Ishaq Rafiu are rearing to go in the attack.
Victory in Thursday’s game will go a long way to pumping up the spirit of the Super Eagles ahead of the two Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches against Sierra Leone and São Tomé and Príncipe on 9th June and 13th June respectively.
The match kicks off at 8pm ET (1am Nigeria time on Friday) at the venue that is the home of New York Red Bulls in the Major League Soccer, and which was opened in March 2010.