Nigeria legend Christian Chukwu is in good health and of sound spirit, says Chairman of the Enugu State FA and Member of the NFF Executive Committee, Chidi Okenwa.
Following outcry at the weekend over the true state of health of Nigeria’s 1980 AFCON-winning team captain, President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick, mandated Okenwa to pay a visit to Chukwu and avail him of the correct state of things.
Speaking to thenff.com on Monday evening following his visit to the former defender, Okenwa said Chukwu was in a very stable condition and adequately taken care of in a medical facility in Enugu State.
He said, “In all sincerity, I never knew this kind of hospital existed anywhere east of the Niger. It is a world-class facility with highly qualified medical doctors and nurses. I met ‘Chairman’ in a very stable condition. I met a Christian Chukwu that talks and eats normally and is of sound mind and spirit.
“I want to express appreciation to the management of Enugu Rangers and the Governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, for the prompt attention given to Chukwu’s medical issue. I also want to thank the NFF president for his quick reaction after reading about the health issue.”
Okenwa, who is also the Chairman of the Nigeria National League, added, “I want to assure Nigerians from all walks of life that their former captain, their legend, Christian Chukwu, is in good condition and in good hands. I am assured by the doctors that there is no cause for alarm, and that if there is any need to fly him abroad for further checks, they would promptly so counsel.”
U23 Eagles Beat Zambia, Revive Olympics Hope
Nigeria defeated Zambia 3 – 1 in their Group B match day two of the U-23 Africa Cup of Nations on Tuesday at the Al Salam Stadium, Cairo, Egypt.
Patson Daka put Zambia ahead in the 12th minute before Orji Okonkwo’s 16th minute equaliser.
A superb free-kick by Kelechi Nwakali gave Nigeria the lead in the 65th minute and Taiwo Awoniyi scored the third goal in additional time.
After the win on Tuesday, Nigeria now place second in Group B with three points.
The U-23 side lost their opening match to Ivory Coast 1 – 0 on Saturday.
South Africa now top Group B with four points after securing a draw against Zambia and defeating Ivory Coast 1-0.
Teboho Mokoena scored a brilliant curling free-kick on Tuesday to break the deadlock eleven minutes from time to raise his side’s tally to four points, one more than the Ivorian Elephants.
The Elephants place third with three points and zero goal difference.
Enyimba, Rangers Through to CAF Confederation Cup Group Stage
Nigeria’s representatives in the CAF Confederation Cup, Enyimba of Aba and Enugu Rangers yesterday defeated TS Galaxy of South Africa and ASC Kara of Togo respectively to qualify for the group stage of the competition.
Enyimba won the first leg of their tie in Aba 2-0, while Rangers lost to Togo’s ASC Kara 1-2 in the first leg.
Yesterday at the Mbombela Stadium, Enyimba showed their superiority over the home team as they raced to a 2-0 goal before TS Galaxy reduced the tally by one late into the game.
The game ended 4-1 on aggregate to Enyimba in the play-off round.
TS Galaxy, which surprised South African football followers by winning the 2018/2019 Nedbank Cup, had enjoyed a good record at home in the Confederation Cup this season, having registered two wins without conceding against the likes of St Louis Suns and CNaPS Sport.
But against Enyimba, they found it tough and had to wait until the 30th minute for an opening as Tshepo Chaine fired wide from close range. And that proved to be the home team’s only real effort of the first half before Enyimba began to choke them.
Enyimba got the opening goal in the 76th minute through Daniel Darkwah, while Martins Usule made it 2-0 a few minutes later.
Galaxy pulled a goal back in the dying minutes through Terrence Mashego, but it was nothing more than a consolation as Enyimba triumphed 2-1 on the day and 4-1 on aggregate to secure a spot in the group stages.
In Enugu, Rangers needed a 1-0 win to secure their passage to the group stage having lost the first leg 2-1. But it was not so easy as the Togolese outfit fought to stay in the competition.
However, Chinonso Eziekwe settled the tie in the 18th minute when the converted Nnamdi Egbujuo’s defense splitting cross to make hay and send the crowd into wild jubilations.
Speaking after the game, Rangers’ Coach, Benedict Ugwu said, “It was a good match and we thank God for the win that has taken us to the group stage of the competition.
“Our plan was not to concede and my players did well to contain them especially in the second half. Yes, we are going into a tougher stage of the competition but I have the confidence that we shall continue to make good representation for the country.”
Arsenal Bow to Liverpool on Penalties after 10 Goals Thriller
Liverpool FC took the shine off Arsenal as they become winners in the Carabao cup Round of 16 played at the Anfield.
Arsenal woes started much early as the team conceded an own goal in the sixth minute through Mustafi. However, the team rose to the task and led 5 – 4 into the extra time before Ongi equalized in the 94th minute.
While Liverpool came round to score all their five kicks during the penalty shootout, Arsenal could only manage four correct kicks.
The Reds therefore, advanced into the quarter final of the tournament.