New look Eagles test might against Uganda
The Super Eagles, peopled by mostly new players, will this evening at the magnificent ‘Nest of champions’ in Uyo test their might against Uganda. It is a friendly game being used by both teams to prepare for the African Nations Cup and World Cup qualifiers, which will start later this year.
Both teams failed to qualify for the last Nations Cup hosted by Equatorial Guinea hence they resorted to revamping their teams for the challenges ahead.
Going into today’s encounter, some old members of the Super Eagles say they will use the game to sanctify the Akwa Ibom International Stadium, which hosted their ill-fated last game of the 2015 Nations Cup qualifiers against South Africa. In that game, Nigeria needed an outright victory over South Africa to berth at the 2015 Nations Cup, but the team barely managed a 2-2 draw with the Bafana Bafana and missed the chance to defend the crown they won in 2013.
After today’s game, the Eagles will hop into a plane for South Africa for another confrontation with the Bafana Bafana on Sunday.
Nigeria and Uganda have not had many battles at the senior level, but the Cranes won the last confrontation 2-1, a Nations Cup qualifier in Kampala.
From the record books, on March 14, 1978, Nigeria lost an Africa Cup of Nations semi final to Uganda 1-2 in Ghana, with both goals scored by Phillip Omondi. The Ugandans also won a friendly match 1-0 in Kampala on September 26, 1981; the Eagles won a Cup of Nations qualifier 2-0 in Lagos on August 28, 1992 and both teams drew 0-0 in Kampala on July 17, 1993.
The two teams’ clash in Abeokuta on March 24, 2007 sticks in the memory: it took a last-gasp Nwankwo Kanu header for Nigeria to earn a 1-0 win.
Homeboy, Skipper Vincent Enyeama will equal Nigeria’s all time appearance record in this game. Retired captain, Joseph Yobo, who incidentally started playing for the Eagles almost the same time with Enyeama, is currently holding the record of 100 caps.
The bulk of the Ugandans arrived in the country on Monday, with the rest of the Cranes’ team, including first choice goalkeeper, Denis Onyango, defender Alex Kakuba and midfielder, William Luwagga Kizito, arriving in Uyo yesterday.
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