By Johnny Edward:
Despite holding a two-point advantage and a superior goals difference over the Super Eagles, Egypt coach Hector Cuper says the matches between the sides in March next year will determine the fate of his team qualifying from the group for the 2017 African Cup of Nations in Gabon.
Cuper led the Pharaohs to a 5-1 win over Chad after hitting three past Tanzania (who were forced to a goalless draw by Nigeria) in their opening fixture and admits the wins were just a small step towards qualification.
“Facing strong teams (like Nigeria) is critical in order to assess the team and players,” Cuper told KingFut.
“The process is going smoothly and calmly. They shouldn’t get over-excited because that’s dangerous in football.
“The three points against Chad are very important, but it’s just a small step towards qualification.”
The Super Eagles have recorded four points after two matches, two points behind Egypt, in the race for an automatic place for Gabon 2017.
Nigeria will first host the Pharaohs of Egypt between March 23 and 26, before they then travel to Cairo between March 26 and 29.