Nigeria-Egypt cracker: Siasia extends late invitation to Leon Balogun

By The Rainbow
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Coach Samson Siasia has extended invitation to FSV Mainz 05 of Germany defender, Leon Balogun, ahead of this month's two-legged 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against the Pharaohs of Egypt.

The latest invitation brings to 21 the number of overseas-based players invited for the match and 43 overall invited by Siasia for the matches.

A statement by Ademola Olajire, the Nigeria Football Federation Assistant Director of Communications, on Friday quoted Siasia as saying that only those who showed guts and grit would be fielded against the Pharaohs.

The statement also quoted Siasia as saying that ability to adapt to conditions would also be considered in drawing the final list for the encounter as there would be no sentiments or consideration for previous ability.

He said: “Only the training sessions in Kaduna and Alexandria will be used to decide the 18 players on the roll for each game.

“These are two matches that we have to win. There will be no looking at what someone had done in the past or current form at club level.

“If you are doing well at your club at the moment and you can't show ferocious form in training and ability to adapt to the environment, then you would have no place.

“I am excited at the debate that has been generated by the team list because you can never satisfy everyone.

“The important thing is that we know the players we want for these big games and we have invited them and we believe in them to deliver.”

Siasia said he had spoken with all the invited players and had received assurances that everyone was ready to give his all in both games.

He said: “We will continue to ask for the support of every Nigerian as we count down to the two matches.

“Our people should believe that we can do it and we will do it.”

Nigeria host Egypt in Kaduna on March 25 and visit the Pharaohs in Alexandria on March 29 in two crucial 2017 AFCON qualifiers.

Egypt top the Group G table with six points, two more than the Eagles who are in second place with four points.