October 7, 2022

Road to Russia: Eagles go for the kill in Zambia

October 8, 2016

TODAY, Nigeria begins the quest for a place in the 2018 FIFA World Cup with a qualifying match away to Zambia at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium, Ndola.

Both countries are in the African qualifying Group B. Algeria and Cameroon are the other teams competing for the group’s sole ticket to Russia 2018.

The all-important match had been preceded by mind game between both countries seeking to pacify their fans after missing out on the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations starting next January in Gabon. Interestingly Nigeria took over from Zambia as the African champions in 2013 after the Chipolopolo had emerged winners for the first time in 2012.

Nigeria and its new manager – Gernot Rohr – have a lot to do to restore confidence in their followers since the Super Eagles missed a second consecutive ticket to Africa’s biggest football spectacle.

Franco-German Rohr is relatively new; today’s match is his second after taking charge of the three-time African champions and the result will go a long way in assessing his quality.

Though he led Nigeria to win an inconsequential match in his first outing, Rohr knows everything must be done to avoid a loss  today.

All the 23 players invited to prosecute the match are injury-free and Rohr has been able to clearly pick his marksman. The key to the arsenal to wreck the Chipolopolo, for him, is with the Alex Iwobi. The young Iwobi, when in his element, can just be devastating.

With everything in place, just one thing must be avoided — blunders. And Rohr is clearheaded  about this. “We must be careful trying to win away and must be able to defend well. So  we must not make mistake.”

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