AFCON 2017 qualifier:Goal feasts
IF the promises from the Super Eagles players are anything to go by, then visiting Pharaohs of Egypt are in for a humiliation at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna this Friday.
Speaking in separate interviews with Daily Sunsports during a parley in Abuja, the players, especially the strikers promised to convert the chances that would come their way.
Returnee Aaron Samuel said that he would do everything possible to celebrate his return with goals, adding that he would be the happiest person to put smiles on the faces of his Nigerian fans.
“I am very happy to be back and like any other player bubbling with high spirit as you can see. I will be glad to score if the gaffer considers me for the game. It will be a thing of joy to put smiles on the faces of my Nigerian fans with goals,” he said.
Similarly, England-based forward, Odion Ighalo, who promised that acclimatization will not be a big challenge to the foreign-based players, assured that though football is a team game, he would be glad to score if the opportunity comes his way.
“It is going to be difficult for us as well as the Egyptians. You can’t go on the pitch and start walking and believing we will win the game. We have to come all out and give our best together as a team.
“By God’s grace the sky will be our limit, but I won’t tell you it will be an easy match. We need to give 100 per cent to win but I can see with what we have on ground now, we are capable of winning the game,” Ighalo said.
Team captain, Musa Ahmed simply said he is targeting a brace, adding: “Kaduna is a familiar terrain and I would be glad to score a brace. We all know the importance of the game in Kaduna and we will go all out to beat the Egyptians.”
Midfielder, John Mikel Obi, on his part said his greatest target would be to secure an outright victory over the Pharaohs of Egypt both home and away adding that the team is mentally and physically ready for the games.
Mikel said though adapting to the weather will always be a serious issue while playing in Nigeria, he is very much ready to give the gaffer, Samson Siasia his best.
His words: “My target is to ensure that we have a good game and possibly an outright victory against Egypt on Friday and even back in Cairo. We are in the right frame of mind to prosecute the matches.
“As for the blending of the team, I can tell you that we are all in the game of football and I can assure you that we don’t need to play together every day to understand each other.
We have to play together as one team, fighting for the common goal of winning both legs of the encounter,” he promised.
On his rating of the Egyptian team, the Nigerian international said: “I only know the Arsenal player having played against him in the Premiership. As for the rest of them, sincerely speaking, I must confess to you I don’t know them.
“From what I have heard of them, Egypt has good team that plays good football. They are fast but we have to be positive and tactical to ensure we dominate the game at every point,” he suggested.
Meanwhile an indication of what to expect from Nigerian football fans on Friday in Kaduna played out on Tuesday as a large turnout of fans stormed the Ahmadu Bello Stadium to catch a glimpse of the Nigerian side.
The fans turnout was a morale booster for the players while training. It also points to the fact that the arena would be filled to capacity on Friday.