EAGLES VOW TO MAKE SYLI STARS LOOK SILLY
Echiejile in action against a South Korean attacker
The uncertainty surrounding the Super Eagles' Nations Cup qualifying match against the Syli Stars of Guinea, was on Friday put to rest, following the lifting of the suspension slammed on Nigeria by FIFA, over what the world football governing body called government interference in football matters.
There was uncertainty whether the match would hold or not after FIFA's hammer came down on the country on Monday.
Meanwhile, before the ban, about 15 home-based players and seven foreign-based ones were in camp training for the second match of Group B in the ongoing Nations Cup qualifiers for the 2011 Equatorial Guinea/Gabon championship.
The interim Coach of the national team, Austin Eguavoen, had earlier in the week said the morale in camp was low from the point the players received the news of the suspension. He, however, prayed that the problem would be sorted out to enable the match against Guinea take place, and his prayers were answered with FIFA lifting the ban on Friday.
Eguavoen expressed optimism that Eagles would come out with good result from Conakry today, adding that despite the injuries to some of the key members of the Super Eagles, those he called to replace them did well in camp.
Encounters between Nigeria and Guinea have never been easy ride for both countries. The Portuguese speaking Guinea had always proved a hard nut to crack for Nigeria right from the time of Christian Chukwu, Stephen Keshi, Sunday Oliesh and Austin Okocha. So, today may not be different. Already, the Syli Stars are leading in Group B with goal difference after their first match in the qualifiers, while Eagles trail them.
As Eagles file out to confront the Stars from Guinea in Conakry, they should guard against lapses if they want to come out of today's encounter with positive result. Moreover, the result will go a long way in determining how far the country will go in qualifying for next year's Nations Cup.