LONDON TIE: SIASIA FINDS A WAY OUT
Super Eagles coach, Samson had boasted before today, that the Nigeria/Ghana international friendly was a match every football follower must watch. He promised to give the Black Stars of Ghana a dose of what two-times world champions, Argentina got in Abuja in June.
But with the numerous withdrawals of some key members of the Super Eagles due to injury and, in some cases, visa hiccups, it is hard to think whether Siasia is still as enthusiastic as the way he sounded a month ago.
The absentee Eagles include, Osaze Odemwinge who is injured, Vincent Enyeama, Ekogho Ehiosun, Fengor Ogude, Obinna Nsofor and Efe Ambrose who could not make it due to visa hitch.
Similarly, there were doubts surrounding Chelsea mid-fielder, John Obi Mikel who had a knock in his club's 3-1 win over Celtic in a pre-season encounter at Ibrox on Sunday.
Despite the absentees, Siasia has remained defiant as he has promised Nigerians a good game.
'No matter how bad it is,' Siasia said on phone yesterday, 'we will play a good game. Although I would have liked to have all the players I needed.'
Siasia's woes increased when former Man City player, Dickson Etuhu turned down a late minute invitation, saying he would not play for Nigeria under coach Siasia.
Based on experience and determination, the Bayelsa state born gaffer said once he could raise his first eleven players, every other thing will follow. 'We have been in this game for a long time now, good or bad, we will try to find a way out,' Siasia assured.
Ordinarily, a match between the two West African rivals is a coach's delight and the historical underpinnings of such an encounter propels the combatants to their optimum when called to duty.
The battle ground will be Watford, in England, a country where the Eagles were roasted 4-1 by their Ghanaian counterparts in 2007.
On paper, the Black Stars are rated 36 while the Eagles are 43 in FIFA ranking In Africa, the Ghana national team is rated third while the Eagles are a distant fifth.
The Ghanians were able to climb the ladder through the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa where they got to the quarter final. The team has remained consistent in the international scene ever since, playing high profile friendlies against the likes of England, among others.
But FIFA rankings or not, the Super Eagles of Nigeria are no push overs in world football. The evolving team under coach Samson Siasia have proved to be consistent and have shown a lot of hunger to succeed. Squared against the challenge