Connect with us

SPORT

AFCON: Super Eagles Set For Burundi Clash

Peter Okunoren

Published

on

Nigeria will begin their journey at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations with their opening match against Burundi at the Alexandria Stadium in Egypt on Saturday (today).

The three-time African champions, who are returning to the competition after missing the previous two editions, will be hoping for a winning start against the debutants, who were unbeaten in the qualifiers.

Nigeria finished top of their AFCON qualifying group, which had South Africa, Libya and Seychelles with a game to spare, while Burundi came second behind Mali in Group C of the qualifiers.

Eagles’ striker, Odion Ighalo, who is expected to lead his team’s attack at the tournament, finished the qualifiers as top scorer with seven goals.

Before the AFCON game, Nigeria had only played the Itamba of Burundi once, beating them 2-0 at the MKO Abiola Stadium, January 23, 1999 in a qualifying game for the 2000 AFCON.

While Nigeria boast many stars playing across various leagues in Europe and Asia, Burundi’s biggest star is Saido Berahino, who plays for Stoke City, same club as Eagles’ Oghenekaro Etebo in the English Championship.

This year’s AFCON is the 18th time the Nigerian side will be appearing in the African football showpiece.

The team will be presenting 20 debutants at the football showpiece, with the trio of captain Mikel Obi, Ahmed Musa, and Kenneth Omeruo the only ones to have been at any other AFCON.

While many have seen the encounter as an easy ride for the Nigerian side, Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr, believes it is their toughest tie.

“We prepare to face them with humility because they were unbeaten in the qualifiers. It’s difficult because all the big countries are here, but I believe the competition will be wonderful with passionate fans and nice pitches,” he said on Friday.

In terms of match day selection, Rohr seems to have made up his mind on players to use, with his preferred central defence pairing of Leon Balogun and William Troost-Ekong set to start.

Obi, Alex Iwobi, Wilfred Ndidi, Shehu Balogun, Moses Simon, and Ighalo are also assured of starting shirts barring any last minute injuries.

Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

BIG STORY

Nigeria vs Algeria: Rohr Reveals Mistake Super Eagles Made, Singles Out One Player

Gbemileke Ajayi

Published

on

Head coach of the Super Eagles, Gernot Rohr, has admitted his players were relaxed at the end of the game when they wanted to force Algeria into extra time in their Africa Cup of Nations semi-final clash.

Nigeria had leveled the game through Odion Ighalo’s penalty after they went behind in the first half.

But with the final kick of the match, Riyad Mahrez struck an unstoppable free-kick past Daniel Akpeyi, to ensure the Desert Foxes will play in the final.

Rohr, speaking to Reuters, hailed Mahrez ass the “genius who made the difference”.

He said: “It was a big fight until the last minute, it was a wonderful match, I think my players wanted it to go to extra time thinking Algeria were more tired.

“We scored an own goal, unlucky, but we have come back every time in this tournament and this time we came back on a penalty. But a wonderful free kick from a football genius made the difference.”

Nigeria will face Tunisia in Wednesday’s third-place encounter at the Al-Salam Stadium in Cairo.

Continue Reading

SPORT

Nigeria Vs South Africa: Interesting Head-To-Head Statistics As Eagles Battle Bafana Bafana Today

Avatar

Published

on

The past days have been filled with the intense build-up to what could easily pass as one of the most important games ever between South Africa and Nigeria at the ongoing AFCON 2019 tournament in Egypt.

Both teams will battle for a place in the semi finals today in Cairo.

Here are interesting heads-to-head stats ahead of the game at the stadium of horror.

  • Nigeria are three-time African champions while Bafana Bafana won the tournament as hosts in 1996.
  • South Africa beat Nigeria away in their opening match of the AFCON qualifiers in June 2017 and were held 1-1 in the return fixture.
  • Nigeria have not won South Africa in their last five meetings.
  • The last time Nigeria defeated the South African national team was in a CHAN group stage game on August 19 ,2014 where Super Eagles won by 3-1 in Cape Town.
  • Ahmed Musa was the last Nigerian player to score against South Africa. it was in an international friendly in 2015 which ended in a 1-1 draw at Nelspruit.
  • South Africa have only managed to beat the Super Eagles twice in all and only once in a competitive game.
  • Nigeria’s first defeat against South Africa came in 2004. The 2-1 loss in 2004 was in friendly game used to mark Nelson Mandela’s birthday.
  • In 1992, Nigeria thumped South Africa 4-0 in Lagos on their return to international football after years of being banned owing to apartheid rule back. It was their first head-to-head meeting.
  • The most recent head-to-head meeting between the two sides was in August 2013 for the Nelson Mandela Challenge at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. Again Nigeria proved too much for South Africa by winning two-nil through Uche Nwofor’s brace of goals.

Head to Head record:

  • Nigeria 2-0 South Africa, semi-final in 2000
  • Nigeria 4-0 South Africa, group stage in 2004

Total head-to-head matches played: 13

  • Nigeria wins: 6
  • South Africa wins: 2
  • Draws: 5

See Breakdown below:

  1. 10 Oct 1992 Nigeria v South Africa            4-0      FIFA World Cup
  2. 16 Jan 1993 South Africa v Nigeria            0-0      FIFA World Cup
  3. 10 Feb 2000 Nigeria v South Africa            2-0     Africa Cup of Nations
  4. 31 Jan 2004 Nigeria v South Africa            4-0      Africa Cup of Nations
  5. 17 Nov 2004 South Africa v Nigeria           2-1      International Friendly
  6. 01 Jun 2008 Nigeria v South Africa            2-0      FIFA World Cup
  7. 06 Sep 2008 South Africa v Nigeria            0-1      FIFA World Cup
  8. 14 Aug 2013 South Africa v Nigeria           0-2       International Friendly
  9. 10 Sep 2014 South Africa v Nigeria           0-0       Africa Cup of Nations
  10. 19 Nov 2014 Nigeria v South Africa          2-2       Africa Cup of Nations
  11. 29 Mar 2015 South Africa v Nigeria          1-1        International Friendly
  12. 10 Jun 2017 Nigeria v South Africa L        0-2        Africa Cup of Nations
  13. 17 Nov 2018 South Africa v Nigeria         1-1        Africa Cup of Nations
Continue Reading

BIG STORY

BREAKING: Chelsea Confirms Frank Lampard As New Head Coach

Gbemileke Ajayi

Published

on

Former Chelsea midfielder, Frank Lampard has been appointed as the new head coach at Chelsea on a three-year contract.

The club legend has put pen to paper on a three-year deal to run through till 2022. The Englishman replaces Maurizio Sarri, who left the Blues for Juventus on June 16, 2019.

Frank Lampard took his first steps into coaching last year when he was appointed as the manager of Championship club Derby County. Under Lampard, the Rams managed to secure a top-six spot and qualify for the playoffs. They then beat Leeds United in the semi-finals, before losing the promotion final to Aston Villa.

Prior to that, Lampard enjoyed a stellar career as a player with Chelsea. The Englishman joined the Blues as a youngster from London rivals West Ham United and went on to achieve the status of a club legend.

During his playing time, the Chelsea number eight made six hundred and forty-eight (648) appearances and even became the club’s record scorer with two hundred and eleven goals (211). He won three Premier League titles with the Stamford Bridge outfit, four FA Cups, two League Cups, one UEFA Europa League, and one UEFA Champions League.

Continue Reading

Most Popular