Make or Mar: Nigeria, Egypt clash in must-win AFCON qualifier in Alexandria

Posted by News Express | 29 March 2016 | 2,823 times

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The Super Eagles of Nigeria go into Tuesday’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Cup qualifier with Egypt knowing only a win will reinvigorate their chances of making the finals.

Nigeria we held to a 1-1 draw by Egypt last Friday at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna, a setback of sorts considering the Pharaohs were two points ahead and the Eagles needed the three points to leapfrog Egypt into first place.

Another twist popped up when 48 hours after Nigeria’s draw, Chad announced her withdrawal from the qualifying series.

That was a huge setback for Nigeria because with three games left, more points were up for grabs but as it is, the Eagles must win in Alexandria or worse case scenario avoid defeat and hope the Egyptians falter in the last Group G game

Consequent upon Chad’s withdrawal, all games and goals scored from matches involving them have been cancelled, which means Nigeria are still on two points from two games.

Egypt still lead the pack with four points from two matches and a win against Nigeria on Tuesday will see the seven time champions make a return to Africa’s number one football show piece.

Group standings before Chad’s withdrawal:

P W D L GF GA GD PTS POS

Egypt 3 2 1 0 9 2 +7 7 1st

Nigeria 3 1 2 0 3 1 +2 4 2nd

Tanzania 3 1 1 1 1 3 -2 4 3rd

Chad 3 0 0 3 1 8 -7 0 4th

Consequent upon Chad’s withdrawal from the qualifiers, all points and goals scored against then are null and void.

This means Egypt are still top but with four points instead of seven while Nigeria has two points and Tanzania is bottom with a single point.

Permutations

Nigeria has to win in Egypt, that’s the easiest stretch to make Gabon 2017; however, certain scenarios can play out that might see the Eagles qualifying.

*A Nigeria loss – means the Super Eagles are effectively out of contention for a place at Gabon 2017.

*A Nigeria win – takes the Eagles to five points, one ahead of Egypt with a-must-win home game against Tanzania to come.

*A Nigeria draw – takes the Eagles to three points, two behind Egypt, who visit Tanzania for her final group game. Nigeria will hope Tanzania do the Eagles a favour by beating Egypt while Nigeria wins her last group game.

Nigeria coach Samson Siasia has sounded out a rallying cry to his troops and urged them to go for the Egyptians jugular on match day four.

The Super Eagles are yet to beat Egypt in a competitive game in 26 years but will look to break that hoodoo in Alexandria.

Excerpted from a Supersport report. Photo shows the Suoer Eagles during a training session.


Source: News Express

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