Nigeria, Zambia tango as battle for 2018 World Cup ticket begins

Posted by Victor Enyinnaya | 9 October 2016 | 1,984 times

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Zambian national team, the Chipolopolo, will this afternoon be in for a battle of wits and brawns in Ndola as Nigeria’s Super Eagles confront them in what has been generally acclaimed as one both teams would not let go easily.

So many reasons have been adduced to it, but truth about it will be nitty-gritty and action packed all the way. It will no doubt be royally, tough and very difficult match to behold aimed towards the kick-off for the race for the group’s sole ticket for Russia 2018 World Cup summit.

The battle of Ndola, scheduled to kick off at 1:30 p.m. Nigerian Time, will leave lasting memories in the minds of commentators, pundits and historians of Africa football as the homers would be gunning for full blooded pound of flesh from the Nigerians, while the visitors will be hell bent in their quest to record their first ever victory in Zambia against the host team.

It is one game the Super Eagles are determined, more than ever before to run away with a win. The team’s confidence stems from the fact that most of the players in its lineup are first team starters in their respective club sides across Europe and beyond.

The team is also a grand mixture of young and experienced legs that can stubbornly hold any squad hostage in front of their fans.

Again, the Eagles are going into the game with superior head to head advantage.  Though, the Zambians have a team that is peopled with African and home based players, young and not two quick team. It builds its strength around its most three star players which Nigeria’s German team handler said it has watched and paused their video tapes and have mapped out killer plans to neutralise their dangerous frays. However, the West African three time AFCON Champions will unleash its intimidating foreign legion  on their host which its tall ambition is to start on sound footing for its first ever World Cup appearance.

Both teams having lost out of AFCON 2017 have only Russia tournament to contend with, which makes this game a do or die affair from the first blast of the referees whistle to when the curtain would be drawn to end the proceeding.

Another angle to the battle of Ndola is that both squads will be vigilant, watchful and tactically tight in all departments of the game. Zambia will not let go easily and so have boasted it will turn back the Nigerians.  The battle of Ndola is frightening and only the team that has the right attitude from the start will carry the day.

This encounter won’t witness goal scoring spree but the space and chances will be generous. Any side that utilizes its own and has proactive bench may laugh last. Ordinarily, Eagles won’t find it a bed of roses because beginning a World Cup qualifier on away soil and even against a crack side like Zambia could be frustrating, delicate and slippery. However, with the kind of chorus coming out from our players, Nigerians have a team to face squarely and soak up the heat from the deadly Chipolopolo.

The other good thing about our team is that the spirit is very high amongst them. The technical adviser has also expressed his desire to let loose the Eagles to feast on the Chipolopolo without minding it is their home ground.

Again, the NFF seems to be on top of their game in the area of motivation and offsetting all outstandings to the lads. The calm atmosphere in the camp remains unprecedented, and is at our advantage. It has set the tone for optimum performance via thinking outside the box. With the like of Mikel Obi, Kenneth Omeruo, Ahmed Musa, Elderson Echejile, Ogenyi Onazi, Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Carl Ikeme and others confident and hold, we pray the Eagles start the campaign on brighter note and then take it from there.

•Photo shows the Super Eagles.

Source: News Express

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