SUPER EAGLES’ BATTLE CRY…
Super Eagles' players have vowed to put their flesh on the grill this afternoon when Nigeria and Guinea go down to the wires for the sole ticket from Group B in the qualifying race for next year's Africa Cup of Nations to be co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
Guinea currently tops the group with 13 points. Nigeria is second with 10 points. While the Syli Stars need a draw to confirm their ticket to next year's football fiesta, the Super Eagles need just 1-0 victory to snatch the ticket from the Guineans courtesy of lesser goal deficit.
The Nigerian players have been talking tough ahead of today's decisive clash, vowing to pull the rug off the feet of the Guineans this afternoon inside the main bowl of the magnificent Abuja National Stadium.
'I did not travel all the way from England to Nigeria for a jamboree,' West Brom of England playmaker, Osaze Odemwingie, declared early in the week.
'You will see it in my game if the coach selects me to play. I'm delighted to be back and I will not disappoint. My mission here is to help my country qualify for the Nations Cup,' he added.
'We all know that the Guineans would want to frustrate all our game plans but I am sure we are equal to the task. We have more experienced players that are ready to take the fight to them. We will ensure that we do not lose focus at any point in time,' AC Milan of Italy left wing back, Taiye Taiwo stated.
'The match will not be an easy one but we are prepared to win. They (Guineans) used different kinds of antics to beat us in the first leg on their home soil. This game is crucial to Nigeria and honestly we've been looking forward to it. We have no excuse not to beat Guinea,' he added.
Inter Milan of Italy quick-footed midfielder, Joel Obi, was not left out in the verbal attack against Guinea.
'We are ready for the match because we all desire to be at the Nations Cup next year. All I know is that I will always give my best for the Super Eagles whenever I am fielded by the coach,' he assured.
Other players that are battle ready for today's all-important match include Germany-based Chinedu Ogbuke, the Uche brothers (Ikechukwu and Kalu), Turkey-based Ekhigo Ehiosun, Fengor Ogude and captain Joseph Yobo among others.
To underline how much victory means to Nigeria, popular soft drink brand, Pepsi, had dangled a whooping sum of N50million at the Eagles to beat the Syli Stars of Guinea to qualify for next year's Nations Cup. The amount is in addition to $10,000 winning bonus to each of the players should they beat the Guinea this afternoon to grab the ticket to the 2012 Nations Cup.
Meanwhile, Super Eagles' Head Coach, Samson Siasia and the President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Alhaji Aminu Maigari, have appealed to Nigerians to turnout en masse to cheer the Nigerian team to victory this afternoon. Maigari, particularly, appealed to the fans to support the team for the duration of the game and shun the habit of booing the players if the goals refuse to come as early as they expected.
The match is billed to kick off at 2pm, as directed by the Confederation of African Football (CAF). The Nigeria versus Guinea match is expected to go on at the same time with the other group match involving Ethiopia and Madagascar.