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Monday, September 9, 2013

Ngr v B’Faso: Eagles in Kaduna without Mikel, Moses

Victor Moses and Mikel Obi

Super Eagles arrived in Kaduna at sunset on Sunday, for Tuesday’s friendly match against Burkina Faso. The players led by Stephen Keshi hit the city without Chelsea’s Mikel Obi and Victor Moses of Liverpool.
They are the only players of the squad that played against Malawi on Saturday in a World Cup qualifying match who will not face the Burkinabes. No names were announced immediately as replacements for the two and it was not stated if the Eagles would go on without such replacements for the game billed for the Ahmadu Bello Stadium.
The Eagles Media Officer Ben Alaiya confirmed that both players were cleared to return to base by Keshi. Mikel, we learnt got a slight calf knock in the weekend game that requires attention while Moses who left for England immediately after the Saturday match in Calabar was excused to enable him tie up things at Liverpool. The attacker crossed from Chelsea to Liverpool just last week on a year-long loan.
Burkina Faso who were incidentally the team Nigeria defeated to win the African cup last February also qualified for the final stage of the World Cup qualifiers. Despite being docked points for fielding an ineligible player earlier in the campaign, the Etalons, as they are called, picked up efficiently, winning in Niger and Congo-Brazzaville before beating Gabon 1-0 in Ouagadougou on Saturday to finish top of their group.
The General Secretary of the Nigeria Football Federation Musa Amadu, said on Sunday, “The Nigeria Football Federation has arranged the match against Burkina Faso to prepare the Super Eagles for the final elimination round, which comes up in October and November. We expect to play our first leg away and then play the return at home.
“We are truly delighted to be in the final round, and we believe the Eagles will do the nation proud by picking one of the five tickets to represent Africa at next year’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil.”
If there are no changes at the top of the African table in the FIFA rankings to be released on Thursday, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Algeria, Nigeria and Cape Verde (who shocked Tunisia in Rades) will be in the Pot A (seeded teams) for the 10-team final elimination round draw. The event will hold in Cairo on Monday next week. Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Egypt, Senegal and Ethiopia will be in Pot B.
The Cameroonians grabbed the last of the 10 slots on Sunday.



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