African Footballer of the Year Victor Osimhen and first choice goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali were among the players that sat out training as the Super Eagles resumed preparations ahead of their Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) semi-final date with South Africa, www.aclsports.com reports.
The Eagles resumed training on Sunday evening at their usual training base – the Police College in Cocody area of Abidjan – after they were given Saturday totally off following their 1-0 win over Angola in Abidjan on Friday night.
Super Eagles head coach Jose Peseiro led his wards to the training session in his company of his expatriate assistants as well as his Nigerian deputy, former AFCON winner Finidi George who took active part in Sunday’s session.
Short report from the Super Eagles training on Sunday evening in Abidjan. Preparations for the blockbuster clash with South Africa already underway. #AFCON2023 #ACLSportsAtAFCON pic.twitter.com/oOPsAWVJLV— Fisayo Dairo (@FisayoDairo) February 4, 2024
During the session which started at about 4:30pm local time (5:30pm) and lasted for just over an hour, the eleven players that started Friday’s game were statutorily given the session off by Peseiro although the sextet of William Troost-Ekong, Daddy Moses Simon, Ademola Lookman, Alex Iwobi, Semi Ajayi and Calvin Bassey had a light jogging session with Finidi.
While goalkeepers Olorunleke Ojo and Francis Uzoho were drilled by the goalkeepers trainers, Stanley Nwabali was on the sidelines, watching with glee. Same also Victor Osimhen, Ola Aina, Frank Onyeka and Zaidu Sanusi who watched their teammates from the sidelines.
The exempted players will return to the schedule on Monday, ACLSports was informed.
The team will have two more training sessions in Abidjan (on Monday and Tuesday) before flying to the city of Bouake on Tuesday afternoon, venue of Wednesday’s game against the Bafana Bafana of South Africa.
As the Eagles have a clean bill of health, so also do they have a clean slate on disciplinary grounds as no player is ruled suspended for the semi-final clash. Nigeria vs South Africa is scheduled for 5pm local time on Wednesday, 6pm in Nigeria.
Fisayo Dairo, reporting from Abidjan