Friday, 5 September 2014

2015 AFCON qualifer: Can Congo survive again in Nigeria?

REIGNING African champions, the Super Eagles are billed to take on the Red Devils of Congo on Saturday at the UJ Esuene Stadium, Calabr in a 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier.
It will be Nigeria's first match after losing 0-2 to France at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Interestingly, the last meeting between both countries at senior level was on January 28, 2000 at the AFCON joinly hosted by Nigeria and Ghana.
Congo against all odds picked up a point in the AFCON 2010 group game played at the National Stadium, Lagos.
Will Congo survive again in Calabar this time? This will be answered after 90 minutes as the game is scheduled to kick off at Nigeria time.
The match would see the return of the likes of SS Lazio of Italy man, Ogenyi Onazi, who copped an injury during the Brazil 2014 second round clash with France; Monaco's Elderson Echijile who was deregistered as a result of injury during a build up game to the mundial and Nnamdi Oduamadi, who was also dropped from the final 23-man squad to Brazil 24, among others.
Other players who are staging comeback into the senior team are Joel Obi of Inter Milan, Italy; Nosa Igiebor of Maccabi Tel Aviv, Israel and Omatsone Aluko of Hull City, England. Aluko since his debut against the Republic of Ireland in 2009 is looking forward to getting his second cap against Congo.
Oduamadi believes there is no hiding place for the Congolese in the Canaan City.
"I want to use this game to prove my relevance to the Super Eagles and let the coaches have confidence in me through my performance. We will come out smoking against Congo on Saturday and winning the match is non-negotiable," said the FC Crotone of Italy forward.
Also, Juwon Oshaniwa is confident of Congo's fall on Saturday.
"We are in high spirits for the match and everybody in the team is focused on victory. We won't toy with the game because there is no minnow in African football again. We have to justify our status as African champions and we know we are the team to beat on the continent any day anytime," said the Ashdod of Israel defender.
Caption: Nnamdi Oduamadi set to explode against Congo.

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