Today’s Africa Cup of Nations 2017 qualifier between the Super Eagles and the Taifa Stars of Tanzania is a dead rubber, but it mean more than a formality game to the Super Eagles.
The outcome of the match which will be played at the Godwill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo Akwa Ibom State today, will not change the fate of the two countries as they have crashed out of the 2017 Nations Cup in Gabon.
For the Super Eagles, it serves as an opportunity to start the preparations for the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign which kicks off next month with an away fixture against the Chipolopolo of Zambia.
Again, it marks another phase in the history of the Eagles with another foreigner, a German, Gernot Rohr as head of the technical crew. The Franco-German who was appointed Technical Adviser of the Nigeria national team last month, has it as his first competitive match in charge of the team.
Nigeria is placed in group B which also has Cameroon Zambia and Algeria. Picking the sole ticket for the world cup will do a lot of good to the Nigeria’s football after failing to qualify for the AFCON for two consecutive editions.
However, Tanzania, who held the former African Champions to goalless draw in the first leg in Dare Salam, seems desperate to at least achieve a first win over Nigeria. This could be a big task as Rohr and the Eagles desire to make it a winning start ahead of the World Cup qualifiers.
The tactician who expressed satisfaction with the progress made in the team since officially taking charge on Wednesday, said he was particularly excited working with young quality players.
But Taifa Stars winger Simon Msuva, in an effort to buttress Tanzania’s ambition to upset Nigeria said:
“We have a young team just like Nigeria and we are as good as they are. We showed that in the first leg at home and we can do it again. One thing we don’t know is fear and we’ll show it on the pitch,” he concluded.
Originally posted 2016-09-03 02:38:13.