Bright Dike’s Nigeria prospects look stronger than ever after he was selected to start against a Catalan XI in a friendly in Barcelona today.
Ten minutes after half time, they rocketed when he controled an awkward through ball with his right foot and lashed in into the Catalan net with his left to bring the score to 1-1 against Johan Cruyff’s side.
The match finished 1-1 with the Catalans the better side according to a 6-2 statistical advantage in shots in goal and a clear majority of possession.
The imminent transfer of Demba Ba to Chelsea may make Newcastle manager Alan Pardew more reluctant to release Shola Ameobi for the Nigerian squad, thus increasing the chances the Timbers striker will make the 23 man squad.,
The full starting XI is:
Chigozie Agbim – Solomon Kwambe, Benjamin Francis, Azubuike Egwuekwe, Godfrey Oboabona – Fegor Ogude, Ogenyi Onazi, Sunday Mba – Brown Ideye, Ejike Uzoenyi, Bright Dike
Gbenga Subair is Media Manager of Futbol World Reports and the African Football Expert. He told Prost Amerika that given all the turmoil in head coach Stephen Keshi’s preparations, Dike has an increasingly realistic chance of going to South Africa,
“This is a great opportunity for him and I trust he will grab it, especially with the World Cup qualifiers coming up in 2013 and beyond. Also a big boost to the Timbers if he makes it to the African Cup of Nations.
There’s been a lot of players withdrawing from the team because of politics and infighting amongst some of the players, Keshi and the Football Federation. Some of the other players who were left out felt they should have been included in the provincial team list and are not very happy at the moment.
I’ve followed Bright Dike so far and his prospects are very good. If he gives good performances in the friendly matches against Catalonia from Barcelona on Jan 2 and the next match against Cape Verde days later, Keshi might just pick him as one of the key strikers in the team. It will all depends on what happens if Shola Ameobi of Newcastle decides to join the team or not.
Bright might just be that extra player coming of the bench to help out offensively if Nigeria deep into the tournament. His prospects are very good and his chance to make a name for himself internationally. Depth will be the key for Nigeria especially in attack since we will be missing Osaze Odemwinge, Obafemi Martins and probably Shola Amoebi.”
Odemwingie was not selected in the provisional 32 man squad and Ameobi’s club manager Alan Pardew publicly withdrew him from the squad.
Kick off today is 11am Cascadia Time. Nigeria have a second warm up game against Cape Verde after which Keshi must select 23 players for the African Cup of Nations Finals to be played in South Africa.