JoJo Ogunnupe close to full fitness for Maltese club after hamstring lay-off


Nigerian midfielder Joseph JoJo Ogunnupe missed Vittoriosa Stars 2-0 win over Pieta on Sunday as a result of a hamstring injury but the 24-year old is already looking forward to a return to action despite doctors giving him a three-week layoff.
The former FC Tranzits of Latvia player is optimistic of shaking of the injury that has kept him out of action.

“I got the knock in the last game against Senglea Athletic which we won 2-0. The doctors reckon I will be out for two to three weeks. I’ve been doing a lot of work in the gym and should soon begin ball work. I’m feeling good about myself and itching to get back into action. Luckily we don’t have a match this weekend and I hope to be back by next week when we play Lija Athletic,” he said.


Vittoriosa Stars defeated Pieta 2-0 in the Maltese First Division league, their sixth win in the last seven games as they relentlessly pursue a promotion ticket to the Premier League.


A goal in each half was enough to hold back Pieta’s challenge and shoot to second place in the standings, one point behind leaders Naxxar Lions who were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Melita FC.


The Stars opened scoring on 13 minutes through Ryan Previ who ran clear before beating the keeper and consolidated with another goal ten minutes from time when Osi Lucky Agboebina hit home from close range to double the home side’s lead.
Ogunnupe is hopeful that the Stars will gain promotion to the elite division at the end of the season with eight games left to play. They sit just one point behind leaders Naxxar Lions who lead the log with 35 points from 18 games.


He said: “We have put ourselves in a very strong position to gain promotion but we are looking forward to end the season as champions. If we continue to do as well as we have been doing in recent games I see no reason why we cannot upstage Naxxar and gain promotion as champions of the First Division.”


The two top teams in the First Division get automatic qualification to the Premier League while the third-placed team engages in a play-off with the 11th-placed team from the Premier League.



Sweden-based Super Eagles hopeful Omoh plays down Cameroun threat

Orebro SK of Sweden’s prized asset, Michael Omoh feels Nigerians need not develop grey hair about Super Eagles’ chances against the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon in the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
The former Dalkurd FC enforcer congratulated Cameroon over their recent feat at the 2017 AFCON where they defeated Egypt 2-1 to lift the trophy for the fifth time, but warned that Nigeria will be battle ready to take on their West African rivals in August.
He said: “Of course right now, they’ve got a lot of confidence because they are African champions, and facing them will be a really good game, but Super Eagles will win at the end of the day. Yes we can match them surely; we’ve got a great team as well.”
The 25-year old all-action midfield supremo also restated his confidence in the ability of current national team boss Gernot Rohr to lead Nigeria to a sixth World Cup appearance.
“I think we’re going do well and go far with Rohr’s tactics and the team we have at the moment. The coach has really done a lot to make the team as good as it right now,” he added.
Nigeria lead the group with six points from two matches and two more wins could be enough to cement her place in Russia next year.
A win for Nigeria over Cameroon would put the Indomitable Lions World Cup chances in jeopardy as the Lions sit second with two points while Zambia and Algeria who have both lost to Nigeria, have one point each.
Hugo Broos’ men are now in danger of missing out on the 2018 World Cup in spite of winning AFCON and having some of the continent’s most in-form players.
The first leg of the double header comes up in Uyo, Akwa Ibom in South-south Nigeria on August 28 while the return leg will be played five days later in Yaounde, Cameroun.