The Super Eagles of Nigeria say they are ready for the final group game against the Syli Nationale of Guinea as they seek to guarantee qualification for the quarter finals of the African Nations Championship.
The team had a feel of the match venue as they trained at the Rubavu stadium on Monday, having also trained there the previous day.
All 23 players who made the trip are in excellent physical and mental shape ahead of the crucial West African derby.
Victory by any margin would guarantee Nigeria top spot in Group C, and a quarter final date with the second placed team in Group D.
The Eagles already have four points having beaten Niger Republic 4-1 in their first match and played 1-1 with Tunisia in the second match.
The International Centre for Sports Studies has named the Super Eagles of Nigeria as the youngest average squad in international matches in 2015.
The report coming out of Neuchâtel, Switzerland, revealed that the average age of the Super Eagles was 24.7, and players aged 22 or less featured 19 per cent of the time for the team.
It also indicated that Nigeria used players not born in the country for 14.6 per cent of the matches played. These players include Alex Iwobi and Carl Ikeme.
The team’s captain, Ahmed Musa, was the most used player in the team, playing 544 minutes for the Eagles and scoring two goals.
The Super Eagles of Nigeria will have a test match on Tuesday morning against PSL side, University of Pretoria.
This test game is expected to keep the team in shape ahead of their first friendly against Angola.
University of Pretoria are 15th on the 16-team Premier Soccer League in South Africa, with six points from 11 matches.
They will also square up with another CHAN-bound team, Cote d’Ivoire, on January 11.
Coach Sunday Oliseh, who was not part of the team’s camp in Abuja due to health reasons, is now with the team, having arrived earlier.
The Super Eagles of Nigeria on Tuesday kept their hope of a place in the 2018 FIFA World Cup alive by defeating Swaziland 2-0 in Port Harcourt.
It was the second leg of the knock out duel between the two countries, after the first leg had ended in a goalless draw in Swaziland on Friday.
The Super Eagles coach, Sunday Oliseh, made three changes to the team that drew 0-0 in Swaziland. Sunshine stars’ Paul Onobi replaced Mikel Obi; Sharks’ Chima Akas came in for Elderson Echiejile and Austin Oboroakpo from Abia Warriors replaced Godfrey Oboabona.
The first half ended goalless with pressure mounting among the fans at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium but Moses Simon’s well taken free-kick in the 51st minute gave Nigeria the lead and calmed the nerves.
In the 75th minute, Obafemi Martins came in for captain Ahmed Musa and Ogenyi Onazi took the captain’s band as Nigeria went in search of more goals.
The Eagles’s improved attacking play eventually paid off but not from the expected source. Defender Efe Ambrose made it 2-0 for Nigeria in the 87th minute to send the Port Harcourt fans into jubilation.
Asides throwing open the gates of the stadium to encourage fans to fill the venue and cheer the Nigeria team to victory, the Eagles were also boosted by the Rivers State Government’s $20,000 per goal promise.
With the victory, Nigeria has now qualified for the group stage of the African qualifiers along with 19 other countries, who will be drawn into five groups.
The five group winners will represent Africa in Russia 2018.
The Super Eagles of Nigeria have kicked off preparations for their second leg World Cup qualifier against Swaziland.
The team had a light training session at the Adokiye Amiesiamaka Stadium in Port Harcourt after returning from Lobamba.
Super Eagles drew goalless with Swaziland on Friday and will be hoping to make their home advantage count when Swaziland come visiting on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) 1st Vice President, Seyi Akinwunmi, believes the team will learn from their mistakes in the first leg, and backed them to record a convincing win in the return tie.
Swaziland on Friday held the Super Eagles of Nigeria to a goalless draw in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier at the Somhlolo National Stadium in Lobamba.
Nigeria’s head coach, Sunday Oliseh, this time opted for a centre-back pairing of Efe Ambrose and Godfrey Oboabona with Shehu Abdullahi and Elderson Echiejile, playing as full-backs.
The Super Eagles from the outset pressed high up against the Swazis, but lacked the sharpness to open up the defense of Harris Bulunga’s men.
The second leg will take place on November 17, when Nigeria will play hosts to Swaziland at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt.
The winner on goal aggregate over the two legs will qualify for the final qualifying round.
The 2018 World Cup qualifier between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the King’s Shield of Swaziland will be played under floodlights at the Somhlolo National Stadium in Lobamba.
The Swaziland Football Association has confirmed the first leg tie will kick off at 7pm Swazi time, which will be 6pm Nigeria time on Friday, November 13.
The world’s football governing body, FIFA, has appointed Germain Koole of Benin Republic as referee for the big match, with his compatriots Bienvenu Dina, Sena Houedin and Gustave Eugene Tohouegnon as his assistants.
The Super Eagles drew a bye in round one as Swaziland edged out Djibouti 8-1 on Aggregate.
The Super Eagles will resume camping for the match in Abuja on November 9.
The Super Eagles of Nigeria have moved one spot up in the monthly FIFA ranking released on Thursday by the world’s football governing body, FIFA, in Zurich, Switzerland.
Nigeria now occupies the 10th spot in the continent (Africa), and the 52nd position in the world.
There were no changes in the top two teams in Africa with Algeria and Cote d’Ivoire retaining the 19th and 21st positions.
The Black Stars of Ghana are up two places to the 25th position, Tunisia dropped three places to the 36th, while Senegal completes the top five.
Cape Verde Islands, who are up fifteen places, Cameroon, Congo and Egypt made up Africa’s top ten playing nations.
The Super Eagles of Nigeria has moved four places up in the latest monthly world ranking released by the world football governing body, FIFA in Zurich, Switzerland.
The team sits 10th in the continent and 53rd in the world, while Algeria remains the best football playing nation on the continent as the national team remain unchanged on the 19th spot in the world.
African Champions, the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire is second in Africa and 21st in the world.
The Black Stars of Ghana, Tunisia and Senegal completes the continent’s top five.
However, the indomitable lions of Cameroon, Congo, Cape Verde Islands and Egypt also recorded improvements in their rankings to make up the top 10 teams in Africa.
Last month, the Super Eagles dropped 14 places to the 57th position.
The Super Eagles of Nigeria has dropped 14 places to the 57th position in the latest monthly ranking released by the world’s football governing body, FIFA, in Zurich, Switzerland.
The Super Eagles 2-nil victory against Chad in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier in June had no effect in the team’s ranking as they slipped from the seventh spot in the continent to the 10th spot.
Algeria retained the top position in moving up two steps to the 19th position in the world, while African Champions, Cote d’ Ivoire, retained the second spot moving two places to the 21st spot.
The Black Stars of Ghana is up nine places to the 25th position and third in Africa, while Tunisia an Senegal completes the top five in Africa.
Cameroon, Congo, Cape Verde Islands and Egypt comes in the top 10 playing nations.
Meanwhile, Argentina are the new best playing nations in the world.
Despite losing to Chile on penalties in the final of the Copa América, the World Cup runners up have leapfrogged over Belgium and Germany to take the top spot in the world ranking for the first time in Seven years.
New entries in the top 10 are Romania in the 8th spot and England in 9th and Wales, whose win over Belgium in the Euro 2016 qualifiers has seen them surge 12 positions to 10th place.
The Super Eagles are confident of defeating the visiting Red Devils of Congo in Calabar to claim the three points at stake in the AFCON qualifier match.
Some of the players, Ahmed Musa and Oduamadi, who spoke to reporters said the team was primed for victory like ‘a well-lubricated machine’.
The kick-off for the match on Saturday is about 5pm local time.
After the game, the Nigerian side will take on the Bafana Bafana of South Africa on September 10.
Meanwhile, the Cross Rivers State government is subsidising ticket prices to encourage the locals to come and cheer the Eagles to victory.
The state’s commissioner for sports, Patrick Ugbe, said the ticket prices for the popular side, cover stand and state box would go for 500 Naira, 3,000 Naira and 5,000 Naira respectively as against the 1,000 Naira, 4,000 Naira and 5,000 Naira they were sold for in previous international matches.
Former Under 17 World cup star, Kelechi Iheanacho scored a goal in Manchester City’s emphatic win over Sporting Kansas City on Thursday.
Iheanacho played almost the full game as the English Premier League champions began their tour of the USA with a 4-1 victory over Sporting Kansas, scored a late goal with an accomplished finish.
The 17 year old, who scored six goals in seven matches for the Manu Garba tutored Golden Eaglets side at the FIFA Under 17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates last year, winning the Silver Boot as the second highest goalscorer and the Golden Ball as the best player, produced an eye-catching performance, earning praises from coach Manuel Pellegrini.
Pellegrini also hinted that Iheanacho has a bright future at the club and will be important in future.
“Kelechi is just 17 years old and he’s a very important player for us in the future. He demonstrated today what he can do in the future.
“It depends on the way he takes this profession, but I think he’s a good talent. He’s a very important player for the future for the club”, he said.
Iheanacho joined the squad on the trip to Scotland, alongside compatriot Chidiebere Nwakali, for games against Dundee and Hearts and was then invited into Manuel Pellegrini’s 23-man squad for the tour of the United States.
Other scorers for the EPL winners were Bruno Zuculini , Dedryck Boyata and Aleksandar Kolarov with CJ Sapong getting a consolation for Sporting Kansas City.
In the mean time, it is believed that he will be loaned out to a club outside England despite his impressive performance so far in the pre – season as Manchester City are working really hard to secure a work permit for him which might take a while as he has not had a game for the Super Eagles of Nigeria.