super eagles

NOTHING FOR ALGERIA! Uyo Fans Sure Super Eagles Will Win

 

 

By Nurudeen Obalola in Uyo:

 

Football fans here in Uyo are confident the Super Eagles will be too strong for Algeria in today's Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier kicking off at 5pm.

The Eagles will go five points clear of the Fennecs in their qualifying group with a win, leaving the Algerians almost out of the race barely two games in.

Although the last key qualifier in Uyo for Nigeria's senior men's national team did not go too well as a 2-2 draw with South Africa in November 2014 ended the Eagles' 2015 Africa Cup of Nations dreams, football fans here are strongly tipping their team to win this one.

The keke (tricycle) driver who took this reporter around Uyo in search of a hotel on Friday, Samson, had absolutely no doubts about the Eagles' chances.

"Oga, how you see tomorrow match?" Samson asked moments after he took off from the Akwa Ibom Transport Company main park.

"I hope Nigeria win, but Algeria won't be easy. They can't afford to lose this one after their home draw with Cameroon," this reporter, trying a sound a note of caution, replied.

But Samson was not having it. "Oga, forget whatever dem play before," he said, animated. 

"They'll lose here to Nigeria. We must qualify for the World Cup. Algeria no fit stop us."

Ernest, a courteous waiter at the Grand Decent Hotel which this reporter and Samson finally found after being turned back at a slew of fully booked or too expensive hotels, was not as cocky as the driver. But he also believes Nigeria are on course for victory.

"Sir, will you be going for the match?" Ernest asked, pitching a ticket to this reporter as the hotel is one of the outlets for ticket purchase.

After Ernest was shown the press pass that meant this reporter would not need a ticket, the waiter said: "It's a big match tomorrow. I know Algeria have a strong team but we're stronger. Our boys will make us proud."

It was probably due to this reporter's Stationey Stores jersey or just the fans' need to talk about the match to anyone who cared to listen, but you did not even need to ask before comments were made about the big game.

Even the middle aged taxi driver who took this reporter from the Margaret Ekpo Airport in Calabar to the AKTC park, Etim, promised to be in Uyo, a roughly two-hour journey through not very friendly roads, to cheer the Eagles to victory.

"Nigeria must win o, anyway I know they won't disappoint us," Etim said.

The confidence is palpable all over Uyo and the desire to see the Super Eagles in the flesh very strong.

A group of young fans, numbering no fewer than 20, got into a bit of a scuffle with security personnel Friday evening and eventually forced their way in to watch their darling Eagles train.

Thankfully, nobody was hurt and even the previously stern security men saw the funny side of the situation and ended up laughing with the fans.

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