The Super Eagles arrived Cameroon this afternoon after a 55 minute flight from Uyo. They are billed to play the second of their two leg World Cup fixture against the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon tomorrow. The first leg ended 4-0 in favour of Nigeria. It promises to be an explosive match but Amaju Pinnick, president of the Nigeria Football Federation has called on the Super Eagles team to finish what they started in Uyo with a flourish. Nigeria leads group B with 9 points from three matches and a win at the Stade Omnisports Ahmadou Ahidjo may be enough to guarantee them a place at the FIFA World Cup in Russia next year. Nigeria’s closest rival in the group is Zambia which boasts 4 points from the same number of matches as Nigeria while Cameroon and Algeria have 2 and one point respectively. Pinnick, who’s as elated as many Nigerians with the Super Eagles performance against the Indomitable Lions, urged the players to approach the match in Yaounde with the same passion and commitment they showed last Friday.
“The Cameroonians will come at us with everything on Monday, knowing they have to get a result and with anger borne out of their humiliation in Uyo. That is why we cannot afford to relax yet. On Monday, you must play with even greater passion and show even more spirit than you did in Uyo to come out with a result.The ticket to Russia from Africa Group B appears to be taking on the green-white-green colour already, but we must not relent. We must fight hard for every ball for the 90 minutes,” charged Pinnick.
John Mikel Obi, the team captain, says the team is equal to the challenge and is looking forward to another good outing in Cameroon. “We are just very keen to finish what we started. We started a job in Uyo and it is time to finish it. If we can pick the World Cup ticket by Monday, why wait any longer? We are all very confident, because we know our ability and what we are ready to bring to the party.”
Given the success recorded against Cameroon in Uyo, not many analysts expect to see any significant change to the team that achieved the victory, but Technical Adviser Gernot Rohr has 23 players to pick from. They include, apart from midfield star Obi, goalkeepers Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Dele Ajiboye and Dele Alampasu, defenders Uche Agbo, Elderson Echiejile, Ola Aina, Leon Balogun, William Ekong, Tyronne Ebuehi, Chidozie Awaziem and Abdullahi Shehu. Others are midfielders Ogenyi Onazi, John Ogu, Wilfred Ndidi, Oghenekaro Etebo, Mikel Agu, and forwards Anthony Nwakaeme, Kelechi Iheanacho, Ahmed Musa, Victor Moses, Odion Ighalo and Moses Simon.
The team is lodged at the Hilton Honors Yaounde and is expected to have its first official training at the Stade Omnisports Ahmadou Ahidjo by 6pm.