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Soccer News of Thursday, 12 May 2022


NPFL stars back Ishaq, Mbaoma to shine with Eagles

Victor Mbaoma Victor Mbaoma

Enyimba and Rivers United captains Austin Oladapo and Festus Austin have tipped strikers Victor Mbaoma and Rafiu Ishaq to shine if handed the opportunity during the upcoming Super Eagles friendlies against Mexico and Ecuador.

Eagles’ assistant coach Salisu Yusuf included eighth Nigeria Professional Football League stars in his 30-man list for both games.

The three-time African champions clash with Mexico at the AT&T Stadium in Dallas on May 28, before flying to New Jersey to tackle Ecuador at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison on June 2.

Two of the players on the list Ishaq and Mbaoma are the top scorers on the domestic scene with 14 and 12 goals respectively. Rivers United’s striker Ishaq took to Twitter to celebrate his first senior call-up.

“Excited to be called up to the Super Eagles squad for the friendly games versus Mexico and Ecuador.  For me, this is a dream come true and a rare opportunity to wear the country’s colour as well. Grateful to Rivers United’s management, technical crew and my teammates for their support,” Ishaq tweeted.

Their inclusion has been applauded by their fellow local league stars, coaches and stakeholders.

“Ishaq has been amazing this season with the goals he has scored and I can only say that his hard work took him there. I know he has a lot to offer the team if given the chance to play,” Austin told PUNCH Sports Extra.

Enyimba captain Oladapo also believes Mbaoma will offer a lot to the team if given the chance.

“Mbaoma is one of the best players in the league this season and I believe his inclusion is well deserved. Given the chance, I believe he will surpass people’s expectations.”