The Super Eagles are battle –ready to pick all three points off Guinea’s Syli Nationale on Tuesday in order to make sure of top spot in Group C and guarantee qualification for the quarter finals of the 4th African Nations Championship.
On Sunday, the Eagles arrived the beautiful border district of Rubavu, venue of their clash with the Syli Nationale, after a three –hour road trip from Rwanda’s capital, Kigali. They are lodged at the Gorilla Hotel, close to the Kivu Beach.
The team had its first training session in Rubavu on Sunday, and on Monday, the team had a feel of Tuesday’s match venue, The Rubavu Stadium.
According to the team’s Media Officer, Toyin Ibitoye, all 23 players who made the trip are in excellent physical and mental shape ahead of the crucial West African derby with the tricky Guineans.
Coach Sunday Oliseh praised the players for their brave performance against the very experienced Tunisian side on Friday and promised that the team will put out another high -level display on Tuesday.
Victory by any margin on Tuesday will guarantee the Eagles top spot in Group C, and a quarter –final date with the second –placed team in Group D. A draw would be enough for qualification, as Nigeria has a two –point margin on second –placed Guinea and Tunisia, but should Tunisia achieve a high –score win over Niger Republic, top spot may not be guaranteed.
Guinea have drawn each of their two matches 2-2, against Tunisia and Niger Republic, coming from behind each time. They pose a big threat because of the skill and guile of their strikers.
Nigeria’s forward Chisom Chikatara, on four goals, will pose the biggest threat to the Guineans at the Rubavu Stadium. His excellent positioning can get him the goals to be top scorer of this championship.
Super Eagles’ Head Coach, Sunday Oliseh, was in the Nigerian squad that earned a 1998 FIFA World Cup ticket at the expense of Syli Nationale. But the Guineans also stopped Nigeria reaching the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations finals, when they drew 2-2 with the Super Eagles in Abuja in October 2011.
In another development,the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, has presented Golden Eaglets’ forward Samuel Chukwueze with his bronze boot from the FIFA U-17 World Cup, Chile 2015.
Football’s world –governing body, FIFA, admitted in November that it made a mistake in naming Eaglets’ skipper Kelechi Nwakali as the winner of the bronze boot, and decided to send another one to the actual winner, Chukwueze, while telling Nwakali to keep his.
NFF Executive Committee member, Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau and General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, presented Chukwueze with his prize, congratulating him for a great outing in Chile.
FIFA had explained that although Nwakali and Chukwueze finished the tournament with the same number of goals (three) and assists to be joint third best scorer, Chukwueze played less number of minutes in the tournament and therefore, is the winner.
Nwakali was selected as the Player of the Tournament.