Super Eagles Ready to Roast Sao Tome in AFCON Qualifier on Sunday.

Estimated read time 7 min read
Spread the love



The Nigerian Super Eagles is hoping to emerge unwounded as she engages the Falcons of Sao Tome and Principe in a dead rubber game meaning a mere formality match at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria to close group A qualifiers of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament on Sunday at 1700 hours.

Several opinions were posted which made the match to be shifted to Uyo from their known base at the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja which included saying that the Super Eagles are jinxed to win any match there and an allegation that the Gbagyi tribe who were owners of Abuja the nation’s capital, said the Nigerian Government did not compensate them adequately for their land.

That notwithstanding, Nigeria’s gaffer, Portuguese born Jose Paseiro survived the stormy weather of removal as he agreed to salary slash from $70,000 to $60,000 per month and a proviso of at least reaching the semifinal of the grand finale next January for automatic extension of contract to push forward his army that included three new players and excluded old soldier captain, Ahmed Musa.

The three new players are Bayern Leverkusen Forward, Victor Boniface; Gents wonder boy Forward, Gift Orban and the guy who swapped from playing for Germany to Nigeria, Gent of Belgium Defender, Jordan Torunarigha.

Jordan is son of former Shooting Stars of Ibadan player, Ojokojo who relocated to Germany and gave birth to Jordan there. Jordan had played for his country of birth in U15 – U23 and the switch to play for Nigeria was actually initiated by former Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr but all attempts failed till now. He would have played for Nigeria’s U21 in the Russian world cup. I recall that Jordan was racially abused five minutes to the end of an International friendly match against Honduras.

On Sunday, Card Giver extraordinary, Ref Lahlou Benbraham of Algeria will be the Center Ref. 37 year old Lahlou born 3rd June 1986 will be in full control of the match involving Nigeria for the first time but he was 4th Official in the preliminary qualifier against Cape Verde in Lagos. Lahlou handled 137 official matches and only once he did not issue any card. He in his last 10 games flashed 69 cards (an average of 7 card per match) including 9 sending offs in various competitions.

The CAF organisers have called for media registration for the coverage of the match warning that only a reporter and a Cameraman would be accredited for coverage from each media because of the size of the Press Box.

Between Wednesday 6th and Tuesday 12th September the final qualifiers to the AFCON grand finale will be known. Already Nigeria and Guinea Bissau are qualifiers from Group A; Burkina Faso and Cape Verde are for Group B; Egypt and Guinea are for group D; Algeria and South Africa are from group F; Mali is for group G; hosts Ivory Coast and Zambia are from group H; Morocco is from group K; Tunisia and Equatorial Guinea are from group L.

In the 120 matches played so far, 290 goals have been scored (12.42 goals per match) with Nigeria having the highest goals of 16 scored. Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen is the highest scorer so far with 7 goals. Senegalese Captain, Sadio Mane is second with 5 goals and four players scored four goals each namely Dango Outtara of Burkina Faso; Louis Mafouta of Central African Republic CAR; Peter Shalulile of Namibia and Patso Daka of Zambia.

Nigeria currently tops Group A with 12 points needing just a draw to fly gleefully to Ivory Coast as she had four wins in five matches; lost one match, scored 16 goals and conceded 4. Guinea Bissau is 2nd with 10 points having won 3 matches drew one and lost one scoring 9 goals and conceded 4 goals. Sierra Leone chalked 5 points from a win and 2 draws with 2 loses scoring 9 goals and conceded 9. Rock bottom Tome and Principe has just a point from a draw and 4 lose.

Here is the record of Group A matches. Nigeria beat Sierra Leone at the Moshood Abiola Stadium 2-1 on 9th June 2022 with Ivorian Ref Ibrahim Traore in charge; same 9th June at the Adrar Stadium Agada in Morocco Guinea Bissau slaughtered Sao Tome 5-1 with Senegalese Ref Adalbert Diouf in charge; on 13th June 2022 Nigeria had her highest scores in history 10-0 roasting of Sao Tome at Morocco with Lesotho Ref Osiase Koto in charge. That score line erased the 10-1 Nigeria had before. Same day at the General Lausana Conte stadium in Conakry Guinea Sierra Leone played 2-2 draw with Guinea Bissau before Libyan Ref Abdulwahid Huraywidah.

Sierra Leone and Sao Tome played 2-2 draw in Morocco on 22nd March 2023 with Togolese Ref Mowabwe Bodjona in charge; 24th March 2023 Nigerians were stunned when the Super Eagles lost at their back yard in Abuja 0-1 to Guinea Bissau with Egyptian Ref Mahmoud Banna in charge.

26th of March 2023 in Morocco Sierra Leone bashed Sao Tome 2-0 before Congo DR Ref Jean Tanguy while it was sweet revenge for Nigeria that piped Guinea Bissau at the Estadio 24 de Setembro 1-0 with Moroccan Ref Samir Guezzaz in charge. Then on 14th June Guinea Bissau had a slim 1-0 victory over Sao Tome in Bissau with Ref Jean Ouattara of Burkina Faso in charge.

On 18th June at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Cmplex in Monrovia, Liberia before the Liberian President, former World Footballer of the Year, George Weah Nigeria beat Sierra Leone 3-2 in an excruciating match in which ViWITH Osimhen scored a brace and senior man, Kelechi Ihenacho scored the winner in 90+5th minute. Weah demanded a Presidential pose with Osimhen ad authoritatively declared the Nigerian next World Best Footballer.

Already the Nigerian players and their officials meant to tackle the Falcons of Sao Tome have been streaming into Uyo as their training starts on Wednesday at 5pm. The Falcons are expected to fly into Uyo on Thursday.

The Akwa Ibom Police Command has promised top security with a vow of zero tolerance for any misdemeanor from any quarters.

Today Wednesday, Liberia takes on Equatorial Guinea at 2000 hours; five matches are slated for Thursday with Angola versus Madagascar at 1700 📞 hours; Ghana vs Central African Republic also at 1700 hours; Niger Republic vs Uganda at 2000hrs; Algeria vs Tanzania at 2000 hrs; Tunisia vs Botswana at 2000 hrs.

On Friday, three matches are on schedule – Egypt vs Ethiopia at 1700 hrs; Burkina Faso vs Eswatini at 1900 hrs and Mali vs South Sudan at 2000 hrs.

Eight matches are scheduled for Saturday – at 1400 hrs Mozambique will play Benin while Malawi will play Guinea. At 1700 hrs will be three matches DR Congo will play Sudan; Mauritania tackles Gabon and Ivory Coast handles Lesotho. Still on Saturday at 2000 hrs are three matches – Senegal vs Rwanda; Morocco vs Liberia and Comoros vs Zambia.

On Sunday, it will be three matches – Nigeria vs Sao Tome at 1700 hrs; Togo vs Cape Verde same time and Scorpions of Gambia vs Congo at 2000 hrs. Monday is for Guinea Bissau and Sierra Leone in Nigeria’s group A at 1700 hrs. The last match for the qualifier rounds is for Tuesday 12th September between Lions of Cameroon and Burundi.

The 2023 African Cup of Nations (AFCONS) final will take place in Ivory Coast from 13th January to 11th February 2024.

By Eniola Olatunji

You May Also Like

More From Author

+ There are no comments

Add yours