AFCON 2021: Eagles Activate Confident Mode For Sudan


Players of Super Eagles are positive about Nigeria’s ability to defeat Sudan’s Falcons of Jediane on Saturday in their second Group D match at the ongoing 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cameroon.

All 27 players in the camp took part in a 90-minute recovery training session on the training pitch at the Stade Roumdé Adjia in Garoua.

The training, the Eagles’ first after beating Egypt on Tuesday in their opening encounter, took place between 11:15 am and 12:45 pm.

Some of the players, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) after the session, assured that they would continue to give their best, assuring that there would be no room for complacency in the game against Sudan.

According to Leicester City forward, Kelechi Iheanacho, the team would sustain the tempo from the Egypt game and keep on giving nothing but the best, adding; “We will do our best and keep doing the same thing we have been doing and, by God’s grace, we will win our games.”

Iheanacho, who was picked the man-of-the-match in the game against Egypt, said playing in the English Premier League (EPL) had helped him to improve his game a lot.

Iheanacho and Iwobi

“Of course, the EPL is a big competition and the best league in the world. It has helped me a lot since I started playing in the EPL up until now. I, of course, have more to give. So, all I can do now is to keep improving,” Iheanacho said.

Similarly, Orlando Pirates’ Olisa Ndah said he was looking forward to a good game against Sudan, saying that the team’s goal is to win all their games to ensure the Super Eagles emerge top in Group D.

“We have to win all the games but we are taking each game one step at a time. So, to win the next game is our target for now,” Ndah said.

For Kenneth Omeruo of CD Leganes in Spain, the team cannot afford to be complacent at this time, adding that the next game must also be taken seriously.

“We have to take the match seriously. The win over Egypt was a good start for us, but we shouldn’t lose focus and think the next game will be easy. So, we have to take the game seriously and try to win it so that we can be sure of qualifying for the next round,” he said.

On his part, goalkeeper Maduka Okoye is also confident the Super Eagles could beat every team in the tournament, even as he said; “We are Nigeria and we are strong enough to beat everybody.

“I think the game against Sudan is going to be a more physical game. But, also, in this squad, we have enough physical qualities. I am sure we can also get the job done against Sudan.”

Exuding the same confidence, William Troost-Ekong expressed delight the team kept a clean sheet against Egypt, saying; “We had a good outing in the first game and the boys played well. Great determination and, most importantly, we got the result.”

Troost-Ekong, who captained the team during Tuesday’s match, further said; “Of course, I want to get clean sheets in every game. But there is something that was in our favour. Everyone spoke so much about Mohamed Salah before the game, and this took the pressure off us.

“The whole team defended very well and they (Egypt) didn’t have many chances and I think we played some nice game of football, which is always exciting. Having said that, I don’t think we should believe in the hype going into the game against Sudan.”

“Every game for us is going to be a big game. We are going to approach it the same way we did against the Egyptians. Game by game we are going to go further. So, we will keep cool and stay humble as we’ve got all it takes to get over the Sudanese,” the Nigerian central defender said.

On Saturday, January 15, the Super Eagles will go up against the Sudanese national team, Falcons of Jediane, before playing against Djurtus of Guinea Bissau on Wednesday, January 19, 2022, in their last Group D game. – NAN

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