Troost-Ekong: Nigeria ‘Look To Rebuild’ With Friendlies In USA

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Nigeria captain, William Troost-Ekong believes two friendlies against World Cup-bound sides, Mexico and Ecuador, in the United States, will help in their rebuilding process.

The Super Eagles’ failure to qualify for the 2022 World Cup after being eliminated by fierce West African rivals Ghana sparked stadium unrest and led to the ousting of the coaching crew led by Augustine Eguavoen.

The under-fire Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has quickly arranged for the team to face Mexico and Ecuador in friendlies on 28 May in Texas and 2 June in New Jersey respectively.

“It’s good to have these two fantastic friendlies. Obviously, we are still recovering from missing out on the World Cup,” Watford’s Troost-Ekong told BBC Sport Africa.

“It’s good to play against two top football countries because they are the kind of oppositions we would’ve liked to play in preparation for Qatar.

“Anyway, we still have a chance to gain that experience. We are looking forward to it and we are happy to play these quality friendly games and looking forward to starting a new campaign to truly put the World Cup behind us as the Nations Cup is our only focus for now.”

Three-time continental champions Nigeria face some soul-searching after a difficult 2022 so far, which saw them exit the Africa Cup of Nations in the last 16 and then miss out on a spot at the World Cup on the away goals rule following a 1-1 draw with Ghana last month.