Sunday, March 27, 2016 6:38 am
By Taiwo Adelu
Nigeria’s Super Eagles will now leave Nigeria for Alexandria on Monday where they’ll face group G leaders Egypt in a decisive clash in the race for next year’s African Cup of Nations in Gabon.
The Nigerians were initially billed to travel on Saturday, but NFF topshots announced Saturday night that the players and officials will now travel to Alexandria on Monday aboard a chartered flight, as against an earlier arrangement to fly the delegation aboard Egypt Air.
The team will fly direct to Alexandria and have the official training at the match venue on Monday evening, before Tuesday’s match.
A 1-1 draw was played out at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna last Friday; Eagles were leading via Oghenekaro Etebo’s goal until very late when Mohamed Salah pounced on a ball behind the Nigeria backline after defender Godfrey Oboabona had fallen on the pitch to gift Pharaohs a point.
Meanwhile, Eagles manager Samson Siasia and skipper John Obi Mikel are confident ahead of Tuesday’s game in Alexandria.
“We will turn the table in Alexandria. Of course, we can,” said a defiant Siasia after the home draw. We have been in this situation before, so why can’t we (win in Alexandria)?”
“We have to move forward after the last game. Moving forward is that we have to get ourselves together and try to go to Egypt and win. This is a game of football when anything can happen. So we will go out there and try and win in Egypt.
“If we don’t win, that means we are out. We will try our best to go and win there. Everything is possible.” Siasia said.
Chelsea FC of England ace Mikel Obi said the Eagles have to fight harder than they have ever done to snatch the three points at the Borg El-Arab Stadium in the Mediterranean coast.
“It’s a massive battle that we are going for, and there should be no illusion about it. We have to face reality, and everyone has to give more than 100 per cent because we just have to qualify for the Cup of Nations,” said Obi, one of Nigeria’s outstanding players when they won the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa three years ago.
The midfield enforcer insisted there was no reason to panic following Friday’s draw, and pointed to the fact that there are still three more matches left in the campaign.
“We have to go to Alexandria and fight with everything we have. There are still matches to play and we have confidence that we will earn the ticket. We also call on Nigerians to believe in the team and continue to support us.”
After the clash with the Pharaohs in Alexandria on Tuesday, the Eagles will travel to Nd’jamena to battle the Le Sao of Chad in the first week of June, before hosting Tanzania in the final round of the series in the first week of September.