The injury crisis rocking Nigeria’s Super Eagles ahead of their 2018 African Nations Championship semi-final clash with Sudan on Wednesday seem to be unabated as no fewer than six key members of the team are carrying varying degrees of injury.
Nigeria defeated Angola on Sunday in Tangier to book a place in the second semi-final game billed for the Grand Stade de Marakech on Wednesday night. The Eagles played the game without two of their key players but suffered more as the coach made three injury enforced substitutions during the game.
Eagles head coach Salisu Yusuf spoke to the media on Tuesday in Marakech and confirmed left back Daniel Itodo and winger Sunday Faleye are out of Wednesday’s game.
“In the last match we made three changes because of injuries and affected our tactical strategy. For Faleye, he is out.
“Itodo is out because he needs another test because CAF wrote to the NFF because of the fear that anything can happen if he plays.”
The former El-Kanemi coach also noted that midfielder Emeka Atuloma has joined the doubtful trio of Kalu Orji, Ifeanyi Ifeanyi and Peter Eneji on the waiting list. Eneji is yet to feature in the competition as the coaches continue to assess his level of readiness.
“We are looking at Kalu and will assess him and we hope Eneji will be better. Ifeanyi Ifeanyi did not play last match because he was carrying a little bit of groin injury, Emeka Atuloma too. Now we need to see Atuloma too maybe they will switch,” said Salisu
Itodo’s absence means Enyimba teenage left back Ikouwem Udoh who had a good debut against Angola will continue while Faleye’s place may be taken by Austine Oladapo.
In the team’s evening training session at Grand Stade de Marakech on Tuesday, both Itodo and Faleye sat out while the quartet of Atuloma, Ifeanyi, Eneji and Orji participated in the light sessions.
Wedneday’s match is billed to start at 7:30pm local time, 8:30pm in Nigeria
Fisayo Dairo, reporting from Marakech