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Bassey’s injury concern for Nigeria, Portugal friendly


Ajax defender Calvin Bassey is a major doubt for the mouth-watering international friendly match between Nigeria and star-studded Portugal side after sustaining an injury on Saturday, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.

The Super Eagles are scheduled to face the 2016 Euro champions at the José Alvalade Stadium on Thursday with the defender in a race to be fit for the clash.

Bassey went down in the 41st minute of Ajax Amsterdam’s 3-3 draw with FC Emmen after landing awkwardly.

The 22-year-old did manage to continue for a while but he was back on the floor a few minutes later and received treatment on the pitch before he limped on to finish the first half.

He was, however, replaced at half-time with Mohammed Kudus coming in for him before the start of the second half.

Although the extent of the injury is still not known, his possible absence would be a big blow to the Eagles, who will be coming up against a Cristiano Ronaldo-led Portugal that possesses plenty of attacking threats.

Bassey was among the defenders called up for the November 17 friendly match in Lisbon by Nigeria coach Jose Peseiro on Friday.

Despite criticism from fans and from club legends over his performances and ball-playing abilities, the defender has been a key figure in coach Alfred Schreuder’s Ajax, with the coach selecting him in 18 straight matches.

Prior to his unfortunate injury on Saturday, the Nigeria international had put on an impressive performance as the Jews led 3-1 before he was substituted. Ajax would go on to concede two goals after the Nigerian was taken off as they blew their two-goal lead.

The draw at the De Oude Meerdijk venue extended Ajax’s winless run to three matches in a week following defeat to PSV Eindhoven last weekend before Wednesday’s 2-2 draw with Vitesse Arnhem.

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