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Eagles sing victory song as Ezenwa given number one shirt


The Super Eagles, led by Captain, John Obi Mikel (right, fourth right), training at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium…yesterday.

• Ajiboye replaces injured Akpeyi
• Ola Aina gets Nigerian passport

It is less than 24 hours to the crunch battle in Uyo between Nigeria and Cameroon and the gladiators say they are ready for war.

The Super Eagles have been in Uyo since Monday getting ready for the match that could stamp their passport to the Russia 2018 World Cup; and going by the vibes from the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Cameroon will be in for a torrid time on Friday.

Under Gernot Rohr’s watch, the players have been training morning and evening to get to the right shape for a battle the Cameroonians also dream of winning.

Yesterday was the day of decision for Rohr, who has been forced by injury to look for a replacement for first choice goalkeeper, Daniel Akpeyi and he wasted no time in handing the mantle to FC IfeanyiUbah’s goalkeeper, Ikechukwu Ezenwa.

The former U-20 national team goalkeeper will be assisted by Dele Alampasu and Dele Ajiboye.

Although the Cameroonians had not indicated the time of arrival for the match, The Guardian learnt that the Indomitable Lions have also been working day and night to ensure they win the game in Uyo. Anything short of victory automatically rules the Lions out of the 2018 World Cup.

One of the good news from the Eagles’ camp is the likelihood that Chelsea defender, Ola Aina will make his debut for Nigeria tomorrow.

According to Rohr, steps to secure clearance for Aina is almost completed, as almost all papers needed have been submitted.

Rohr explained that Aina’s passport is ready, his father is coming in from the United kingdom and the Nigeria Football Federation are doing all in their power to ensure the clearance comes through before the match on Friday.

Speaking on his preparedness to man the post for Nigeria, Ezenwa told journalists yesterday “it is a huge responsibility to represent Nigeria. I thank the coaches for this opportunity. I will not disappoint.”

Super Eagles’ Captain, John Obi Mikel explained yesterday that the players have resolved not to leave the Godswill Akpabio Stadium pitch without a resounding victory over Cameroon. He added: “The World Cup is the biggest stage in football. You can never have enough of it. We want to be in Russia 2018.”

Also looking forward to a successful game, Germany-based defender, Leon Balogun posits: “This is not going to be an easy game. We’ll need to be at our best. We’ll give our all to pick the three points at stake.”

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