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Eagles ready for Pharaohs friendly, Musa, Ighalo dream AFCON glory


Super Eagles attacker Odion Ighalo seems to tell three Pirates of Seychelles during their AFCON qualifier in Asaba, Delta State yesterday. The Eagles won 3-1

Super Eagles’ captain Ahmed Musa and Odion Ighalo have expressed optimism that the team will excel at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament holding in Egypt from June 21 to July 13.

Speaking after yesterday’s training session at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba, ahead of the international friendly against Egypt, Musa said that the team’s focus now is to ensure players are in high spirit for the tourney.

He said the game provides another opportunity for Eagles to test their strength against The Pharaohs, who have won the tournament more than any other team in the continent.


Musa, however, assured that his teammates would not relent in their efforts at giving Nigerians the desired results at AFCON 2019.

“The Super Eagles have put behind them what happened during the AFCON qualifiers. We are delighted that we ended on an impressive note after losing to South Africa in the opening game. As you can see, we did not relax after our match on Friday and now we are back to training for the game against The Pharaohs,” he said.

Shanghai Shenhua FC forward, Ighalo who did not take part in yesterday’s training due to the injury he sustained against Seychelles, stated that the doctor’s nod for him to train tomorrow (today) would determine if he is going to play against The Pharaohs.

“I am happy that I ended the Nations Cup qualifiers as the top scorer. I have put behind me the criticisms from our World Cup ouster. The Eagles are ready to give a good account of themselves in the 2019 AFCON. With good preparations, I believe Eagles will shine in Egypt. I also want people to know that I’m still committed to my club in China. If any club in England comes for me with a higher wage, I have to consider my family and other issues before making a move. But for now, I still have a contract with Shanghai Shenhua FC,” he said.

The team continues its training as the coach fine-tunes strategies to subdue the North Africans side on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Francis Uzoho, Victor Osimhen, Valentine Ozonwafor, Chidozie Awaziem and two other Super Eagles players have joined the national U-23 team ahead of the must win Japan 2020 Olympic qualifier match slated for the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba tomorrow.

The team, which had its first walkout yesterday, was in high spirit, as Coach Gernot Rohr was on hand to supervise the training session after a pep talk with the players before training.

Musa, who was at the training, said his presence was to encourage the boys in training reminding them of the importance of the Olympic qualifier.

Coach of the U-23 team, Imama Amapakabo, has expressed confidence in the team, which he said is 100 per cent poised to getting the required goals and moving to the next stage.

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