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Today's Big Match Feature: Egypt vs Nigeria


The Super Eagles of Nigeria go into Tuesday’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Cup qualifier with Egypt knowing only a win will reinvigorate their chances of making the finals.

Nigeria were held to a 1-1 draw by Egypt last Friday at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna, a set back of sorts considering the Pharaohs were two points ahead and the Eagles needed the three points to leapfrog Egypt into first place.

Another twist popped up when 48 hours after Nigeria’s draw, Chad announced her withdrawal from the qualifying series.

That was a huge setback for Nigeria because with three games left, more points were up for grabs but as it is, the Eagles must win in Alexandria or worse case scenario avoid defeat and hope the Egyptians falter in the last Group G game

Consequent of Chad’s withdrawal, all games and goals scored from matches involving them have been cancelled which means Nigeria are still on two points from two games.

Egypt still lead the pack with four points from two matches and a win against Nigeria on Tuesday will see the seven time champions make a return to Africa’s number one football show piece.

Group standings:

P W D L GF GA GD PTS POS

Egypt 3 2 1 0 9 2 +7 7 1st

Nigeria 3 1 2 0 3 1 +2 4 2nd

Tanzania 3 1 1 1 1 3 -2 4 3rd

Chad 3 0 0 3 1 8 -7 0 4th

Consequent of Chad’s withdrawal from the qualifiers, all points and goals scored against then are null and void.

This means Egypt are still top but with four points instead of seven while Nigeria has two points and Tanzania is bottom with a single point.

Permutations

Nigeria has to win in Egypt, that’s the easiest stretch to make Gabon 2017, however certain scenarios can play out that might see the Eagles qualifying.

*A Nigeria loss- means the Super Eagles are effectively out of contention for a place at Gabon 2017.

*A Nigeria win - takes the Eagles to five points, one ahead of Egypt with a-must-win home game against Tanzania to come.

*A Nigeria draw - takes the Eagles to three points, two behind Egypt, who visit Tanzania for her final group game. Nigeria will hope Tanzania do the Eagles a favour by beating Egypt while Nigeria wins her last group game.

Nigeria coach Samson Siasia has sounded out a rallying cry to his troops and urged the to go for the Egyptians jugular on match day four.

The Super Eagles are yet to beat Egypt in a competitive game in 26 years but will look to break that hoodoo in Alexandria.

What they said:

“We are already looking forward to the game because we have another chance to get the three points at stake.

“Egypt are a good side as they showed but we are also good. If they can get a draw here I see no reason why we can’t get points over there.

“The team is determined to make Nigeria proud and we are heading to Egypt for business. I want the fans to continue to support the team.”

Stanley Amuzie, Nigeria defender

"We played a good game in Nigeria but so did they. We had some lapses and we will fix those before the next match. We need shots at their goal and have to get there quicker and more often."

"Nigeria will come to Cairo and they want all three points , this means they must take risks. We respect them but are also ready for them" .

Hector Cuper, Egypt coach

Team news: Nigeria will be without the services of first choice goalkeeper Carl Ikeme for the return leg against Egypt.

The Wolverhampton Wanderers goalkeeper is down with a stomach bug and has not trained since Friday’s game.

Squads

Nigeria

Goalkeepers: Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United, South Africa) Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Sunshine Stars)

Defenders: Efe Ambrose (Celtic FC, Scotland), Abdullahi Shehu (Uniao da Madeira, Portugal); Elderson Echiejile (AS Monaco, France), Stanley Amuzie (Olhanense FC, Portugal), Godfrey Oboabona (Caykur Rizespor, Turkey), Kalu Orji Okagbue (Enugu Rangers), Chibuzor Okonkwo (FC IfeanyiUbah), Matthew Etim (Enugu Rangers)

Midfielders: Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio, Italy), John Mikel Obi (Chelsea, England), Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City, England), Azubuike Okechukwu (Yeni Matalyspor, Turkey) Ifeanyi Matthew (Kano Pillars), Etebo Oghenekaro (Warri Wolves)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia), Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium), Victor Moses (West Ham United, England), Aminu Umar (Osmanlispor FK, Turkey), Odion Ighalo (Watford FC, England), Aaron Samuel (CSKA Moscow, Russia), Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England), Fanendo Adi (Portland Timbers, USA)

Egypt

Goalkeepers: (Wadi Degla); Ahmed El Shenawy (Zamalek) , Mohamed El Shenawy (Petrojet), Ali Lofti

Defenders: Hazem Emam (Zamalek); Ahmed Dwedar (Zamalek) , Ahmed Hegazy (Al Ahly) , Omar Gaber (Zamalek) , Rami Raiea (Al Ahly) , Sbary Rahil _Al Ahly) , Aly Gabr (Zamalek) , Hamada Tolba (Zamalek).

Midfielders: Hossam Ghaly (Ahly); Abdullah Al Saied (Al Ahly) , Ibrahim Salah (Smouha) , Mohamed Elneny _Arsenal) , Mohamed Salah (Roma) , Mahmoud Hassan Terezguet (Anderlechet) , Tarek Hamed (Zamalek) , Ramadan Sobhy (Al Ahly) , Mohmen Zakaryia (Al Ahly) , Aymen Hefny (Zamalek) , Amr Warda (Penaliokos)

Strikers: Marwan Mohsen (Ismaily);Ahmed Hassan ‘Kouka’ (SC Braga) , Amr Gamal (Al Ahly).

The game will be shown live on Supersport on Channels 203 and SuperSport Select at 5.50 pm (WAT).

Culled from Super Sports

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