Posted by Adeyinka Akintunde, Lagos | 26 January 2016 | 3,139 times
Super Eagles of Nigeria go into battle against the Syli Nationale of Guinea today shortly. This is the final match of Group C, and Sunday Oliseh and his boys know that a draw will qualify Nigeria for the quarter finals of the on-going Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) in Rwanda.
Nigeria are top of the group with four points from two matches, but the group is still very much wide open with all four teams still in with a mathematical chance of reaching the knockout rounds of the tournament.
Tunisia and Guinea are on two points after they drew their first two matches, while Niger are bottom of the standings on a point.
Victory by any margin this afternoon (kick-off is 3pm Nigerian time) will guarantee the Eagles the top spot, and a quarter-final date with the second-placed team in Group D, which will be determined on Wednesday. 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 have to win or draw (against Nigeria) and wait for Tunisia vs Niger to also end in a draw while scoring more goals than the Carthage Eagles.
They pose a big threat because of their mobility and physicality of their strikers led by Alseny ‘Agogo’ Camara.
On the Nigerian side, Enugu Rangers’ Orji Kalu is expected to start in the heart of the back four along with Austin Obaroakpo after an encouraging display as a replacement for the giant
Stephen Eze against Tunisia.
Coach Sunday Oliseh praised the players for their brave performance against the very experienced Tunisian side last Friday and promised that the team will step up their game against a young Guinea team, who were surprisingly stretched by Niger.
“I personally rate Guinea highly because they are a good team. We shall need to be at our best to be able to get a good result so that we top the group,” he offered.
Nigeria and Guinea have never met at any stage of the CHAN. However, on the 16 occasions that the two sides have clashed in other competitions including friendly games, the Super Eagles have won five, while the Guineans were victorious four times. Seven of the matches have been drawn. Nigeria has won two and drawn two out of the last five most recent games between both sides.
•Photo shows CHAN Super Eagles.
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