Portugal vs Nigeria: Dessers, Awaziem, replace Osimhen, Ndah


Cyriel Dessers and Chidozie Awaziem have been drafted to replace Victor Osimhen and injured Olisa Ndah for Thursday’s international friendly between Selecao of Portugal and Super Eagles of Nigeria billed for Lisbon.

A NationSport search on the website of Orlando Pirates indicated that Ndah got injured in the build-up to the Buccaneers’ 4-0 loss to Mamelodi Sundowns in the final of the Carling Black Label Cup played on Saturday at the FNB Stadium, Johannesburg. Ndah was not available for the game and his last game for Orlando Pirates was in the final of the MTN 8 played on November 5 which they won after beating AmaZulu 1-0 in the final.

And Ndah’s place has been taken by in-form Awaziem who had scored four goals from 14 topflight games for Hajduk Split in the Croatian league.

For Osimhen, no reason has been given for his withdrawal from the match but the Napoli striker has been replaced by Dessers who just returned from an injury.

Also, NationSport learnt that Napoli did not acknowledge Osimhen’s call-up for the friendly game and he was not listed among international players expected to travel for tune-up games on the club’s website.

The former Lille of France hitman completed Napoli’s 3-2 home win over Napoli and he is currently the leading scorer in the Serie A with nine goals from 11 games.

His replacement, Dessers returned to football last weekend in Cremonese’s 2-0 loss to Tyronne Ebuehi’s Empoli after two weeks on the sidelines owing to injury.

The Dutch-raised Nigerian has two goals from 13 Serie A games for Cremonese.

Meanwhile vice-captain William Troost-Ekong led 10 other players to the team’s first training session yesterday at 7pm (Portugal), 8pm Nigeria Time.

Alex Iwobi, newly invited Bruno Onyemaechi, returning Kevin Akpoguma, Oghenekaro Etebo, Rivers United’s Ebube Duru, Emmanuel Dennis, red hot Paul Onuachu, Ademola Lookman, Kelvin Bassey and Joe Aribo were the other Eagles involved yesterday evening.

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