Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Heartland star doubtful for Guinea tie

Heartland defender, Chibuzor Okonkwo, is now a major doubt for Saturday's 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying between Nigeria and Guinea in Abuja.

Okonkwo is still nursing a thigh injury he suffered during the international friendly against Argentina in Dhaka, Bangladesh on September 6.

The right-back also missed Heartland's Cup final triumph over Enyimba in Lagos on September 25 due to same injury.

Super Eagles' team doctor, Ibrahim Gyaran, has been examining the defender and taking him through rehabilitation drills to ascertain if he will be fit before Saturday, SuperSport.com has learnt.

Nigeria head coach, Samson Siasia, is now planning for the important qualifying game against Guinea's Syli Nationale at the National Stadium, Abuja without the 22-year-old right-back.

The thigh injury of Okonkwo is giving Siasia a cause for concern, as he has identified the left-side of Guinea's attack as the main threat to Nigeria's Nations Cup ambition.

Other defenders named in the squad for the Guinea game by Siasia are Joseph Yobo, Taye Taiwo, Dele Adeleye, Elderson Echiejile and Efe Ambrose.

Siasia is said to be mulling over the idea of trying out another defender at right-back in the event of Okonkwo failing to get fit for Saturday's clash.

The Nigerian coach had earlier said: "I've been able to see a little of them (the Guineans) from their videos. I have noticed that their left wing is most potent.

"So we will be looking at bringing in a very fast and technical right-back since Chibuzor (Okonkwo) is doubtful for now."

Siasia's men are condemned to earn an outright victory without conceding against the Guineans to ensure that they book a place at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.

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