Posted by News Express | 15 November 2014 | 4,032 times
Nigeria are under pressure to win by at least two clear goals this afternoon in Congo to stay on course for a place at next year’s AFCON.
The African champions are in danger of missing out on AFCON 2015 as they are third on four points from as many matches and face second-placed Congo in Pointe-Noire, who stunned the Super Eagles 3-2 in Calabar in September.
South Africa are top of Group A with eight points and will qualify for the tournament proper should Nigeria fail to beat hosts Congo this afternoon.
Coach Stephen Keshi has been re-instated after he was earlier replaced by Shuaibu Amodu and Villarreal striker Ikechukwu Uche has been recalled after he was overlooked for more than a year.
However, the Eagles are sweating on the fitness of skipper Vincent Enyeama, who is nursing a shoulder injury.
“I have told my players to play the African way on Saturday,” said Keshi.
“We need to play hard to get the result we crave for and we should drop the European style or method and play the African way.”
The Red Devils of Congo led by the vastly experienced Claude Le Roy must fancy their chances of upstaging their illustrious guests again.
In September, they were the better team on the day and deserved their shock win in Calabar. They were not intimidated by the pedigree of their hosts and even when they were 3-1 up, they kept going at the Eagles suspect defence.
Almeria forward Thievy Bifouma was the most outstanding player on the day as he netted a brace and provided the assist for his team’s opening goal.
And last weekend the pacy Bifouma again showed his class in a Spanish La Liga clash against mighty Barcelona when he scored for Almeria, who though will eventually go down to the Catalan giants 2-1 at home.
Besides the 22-year-old Bifouma, towering forward Ferebory Dore of Romanian club CFR Cluj is among the leading scorers in the qualifiers with three goals thus far.
And experienced skipper Delvin Ndinga, who missed the first clash against Nigeria in Calabar due to injury he suffered at Greek champions Olympiacos, will be available for this match.
Kick-off time at the 13,000-capacity Stade Municipal in Pointe-Noire is 3.30 pm Nigerian time.
•Adapted fromMTNFootball.com. Photo shows Nigeria’s midfield star Ogenyi Onazi getting the better of a challenger in the previous fixture in Calabar.
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