We’ll finish what we started, Mikel assures Nigerians
Skipper John Obi Mikel was in buoyant spirit as the Super Eagles arrived Yaounde yesterday afternoon for today’s 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon.
“We are just very keen to finish what we started. We started a job in Uyo and it is time to finish it. If we can pick the World Cup ticket by Monday (today), why wait any longer?
“We are all very confident, because we know our ability and what we are ready to bring to the party.” Nigeria achieved her highest win ever over Cameroon with the massive thumping of the Lions on Friday, and Mikel is aware the wounded Lions will want to salvage some pride.
“We are as hungry, perhaps even more hungry than they are. It will be a tough affair but we will give our very best to take the three points.”
Nigeria could become the first African team to earn a slot in Russia as early as tomorrow (next 24 hours) if they defeat the Cameroonians today in Yaounde and Zambia fail to beat Algeria at the Stade Mustapha Tchaker in Blida tomorrow.
Technical Adviser Gernot Rohr has 23 very fit players to select from, with goalkeepers Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Dele Ajiboye and Dele Alampasu, defenders Uche Agbo, Abdullahi Shehu, Elderson Echiejile, Ola Aina, Leon Balogun, William Ekong, Tyronne Ebuehi and Chidozie Awaziem, midfielders Mikel Obi, Ogenyi Onazi, John Ogu, Wilfred Ndidi, Oghenekaro Etebo and Mikel Agu, and forwards Ahmed Musa, Victor Moses, Odion Ighalo, Moses Simon, Anthony Nwakaeme and Kelechi Iheanacho making the trip.
At the Hilton Hotel yesterday to receive the Nigerian team was Cameroun’s Minister of Sport, Bidoung Mpaktt, who chatted briefly with NFF President Amaju Pinnick.
FIFA has appointed respected Senegalese official Bakary Papa Gassama as the referee for today’s encounter, to be assisted by Jean Claude Birumushahu from Burundi (Assistant 1), Marwa Aden Range from Kenya (Assistant 2) and Maudo Jallow from Gambia (Reserve Referee). Osama Ataa Elmanan Hassan from Sudan will be match commissioner at the game kicking off 6pm.