As Moses, Mikel, Iheanacho aim to increase goals’ tally
Sports –loving Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) will represent His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) at Saturday’s 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying showdown between Nigeria and Zambia in Uyo.
Thenff.com learnt on Friday morning that Fashola, who as Governor of Lagos State frequently hosted the grand finale of the Federation Cup (now AITEO Cup) competition and is a noted football enthusiast, will fly into the Akwa Ibom State capital on Saturday.
Top officials have also confirmed that President of the Senate, Distinguished Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki, Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports, Barr. Solomon Dalung and the Chairmen of the Senate and House Committees on Sports, Senator Obinna Ogba and Hon. Goni Bukar Lawan will also be at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium.
Host Governor Udom Emmanuel and members of the Akwa Ibom State cabinet, NOC President Habu Gumel and Members of the NFF Executive Committee and Management will also be present.
The Super Eagles, three points ahead of second –placed Zambia going into the penultimate day of the African qualifiers, require only the minimum win against the Chipolopolo on Saturday to join 10 other nations that have already qualified for the 32 –team football showpiece in Russia next year.
Meanwhile, a total of six players have scored Nigeria’s 10 goals so far in the qualifying race for the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup finals.
Chelsea FC of England’s Victor Moses has top –scored with three goals, two of them against Algeria’s Fennecs in Uyo in November 2016 (the first and third goals) and the other (the third goal) in the 4-0 whitewash of Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions also in Uyo last month.
Captain Mikel Obi has scored twice, also both at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium. He netted the second goal against Algeria in November 2016 and also the second against Cameroon last month.
Forward Kelechi Iheanacho has also scored two goals, the first being the second goal against Zambia in Ndola in October 2016 and the second being the final goal in the 4-0 defeat of Cameroon in Uyo last month.
Other scorers are Arsenal FC of England’s Alex Iwobi (who scored Nigeria’s first goal of the series, in the defeat of Zambia in Ndola in October 2016); Odion Ighalo who scored the opener against African champions Cameroon last month in Uyo and; Belgium –based Moses Simon whose goal shot the Eagles ahead against Cameroon in Yaounde last month.
All six players are available for selection against the Zambians on Saturday.