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‘These Guineans are no push overs’


Syli Stars during their last training session before today’s match against Nigeria. PHOTOS: AFP.

Nigeria has been touted as a star-studded team, but in Guinea are so many good players, who have won big laurels with their various clubs in Europe. The biggest of them all is Naby Keita, the Liverpool star, who just came out of a UEFA Champions League wining campaign.

Keita is the fulcrum of a side that relies on attacking football aided crisp passes and darting runs from wide midfielders.

In this league are Toulouse of France’s Issiaga Sylla, Eintracht Frankfurt of Germany’s Simon Falette, Napoli’s Amadou Diawara and Bordeaux’s François Kamano, who is one of the most sought after strikers in the European transfer season.

Kamano rescued the Syli Stars from imminent defeat in the opening game against Madagascar, but that blip was blamed on early game jitters.


Now, they say they are ready for the ‘Giants of Africa’ and the fans in Alexandria are excited. Whatever happens, there sure would be good football on display in n Alexandria.

Super Eagles’ Coach, Gernot Rohr summed up the fans expectations at the pre-match press conference yesterday.

“Guinea has some big players, who play for some of the great clubs in Europe,” he said.

“I think this match is the most difficult in the group when you see the players they have, players playing in such big teams like Liverpool, Napoli, Bordeaux, Toulouse.

“A lot of them have been educated in France with French football philosophy.

“There is even a teammate of one of our players Kalu, Kamano. They play together in the same team, they are friends but there will be no friendship tomorrow, it will be a difficult match.

“I only hope the situation around the team will be a good one, serenity and harmony. I hope after the meeting of the players this morning we can still work in this serenity.”

Despite the quality of players in Guinea’s squad, Rohr is not contemplating defeat today.

“We are ready because the players are getting fit. The pressure is on Guinea because they have to win this match but we are in a positive situation, we are topping the group with three points, we want to remain top and if we win we are sure to be through which is a good motivation for our players,” he said.

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