–Eagles seek maximum points in Point Noire
African champions Nigeria will have to be at their best if they are to improve their chances of automatic qualification to next year’s AFCON, when they face hosts Congo in a decisive Group A tie today.
Congo are second in the standings on seven points from four matches, three points ahead of third-placed Nigeria with only the top two teams guaranteed automatic passage to the tournament proper.
Nigeria have finally recalled Villarreal striker Ikechukwu Uche, who was at daggers drawn with Coach Stephen Keshi. He had insisted the striker who last featured for the country in the final of AFCON 2013 against Burkina Faso was tactically not disciplined and that the player had said he has to be begged to play again for Nigeria.
Keshi himself has only just returned to his post, after he was asked to step down and former Nigeria Coach Shiabu Amodu was appointed along with new assistants.
“We have the players who can do Nigeria proud in the remaining qualifying games and I know somehow we will make it to the finals and retain our trophy,” said ‘Big Boss’ Keshi.
Nigeria’s Europe-based stars struggled on the artificial pitch in Sudan last month and lost 1-0, but Turkey-based midfielder Raheem Lawal insists they cannot afford a repeat performance on the astro turf at the Stade Municipal in Pointe-Noire.