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Super Eagles showdown with Zambia for World Cup place

Saturday 7th October 2017
Nigeria's Super Eagles trade tackles with Zambia today to decide their respective World Cup fates. The Akwa Ibom Stadium in Uyo will be rocking.

After breezing past fellow African giants Algeria and Cameroon in the so-called Group of Death, Nigeria commands Group B. Zambia will fancy their chances, however, euphoric over their surprise back-to-back wins against Algeria's Desert Foxes.
The Chipolopolos will be hoping to clip the Eagles' wings to level matters in terms of points. If they can do so, they will likely have further work to erase the current 5-goal gap in the +/- category. This is the big match for both teams to state their case for a place in Russia next summer.

Zambia was considered the underdog in this group, the team whose bones the other three would pick between fights with one another. How soon people forget the side which ran through Nigerian nemeses Ghana and Ivory Coast to claim the 2012 African Cup of Nations. Wedson Niyerenda's side must turn the tables after losing the home leg in this tie, 1-2, in Ndola.

Gernot Rohr's side is ably skippered by John Obi Mikel and is surely the bookmaker's favourite. That is no guarantee, though. The game must be played.
Losing to Alex Iwobi and Kelechi Iheanacho's strikes seriously dented Zambia's hopes. Yet, CAF sides are fond of turning the tables. Gabon lost 0-3 to Ivory Coast at home, then went on to win 1-2 in Abidjan the following week. A win would place the southern African nation one step closer to their first ever appearance on the world stage.

Nevertheless, everything seems to be going well for the Super Eagles. direction as everyone in the Nigerian (Eagles) squad is in high spirit ahead of the all important encounter. Moses Simon was instrumental in the doubleheader against Cameroon last month. He set up Victor Moses for Nigeria's third goal in Uyo, then scored in the 1-1 draw in Yaoundé. He has spoken about the match's importance.

Victory is what everyone needs on Saturday. We know the importance of qualifying for the FIFA World Cup. My colleagues will push with everything we have to get the results.

Odion Ighalo, also on the scoresheet for the first leg against the Indomitable Lions, and lively in the second, has stated Zambia will not halt his World Cup dream.

Most of us in the team have not gone to the World Cup, so there is no amount of money that can get me motivated. It will be a great honour for me to represent over 170 million Nigerians in Russia.

How powerful a description that can be as the Super Eagles are determined to book a ticket to next year's World Cup with a game to spare. As Ighalo also noted, a draw should be sufficient, given their strong goal advantage.
With Victor Moses, Alex Iwobi, Ola Aina, Kelechi Iheanacho, Moses Simon and Oghenekaro Etebo in the squad, the Super Eagles are raring to go against the Zambians. The signs are there for victory.

Supporters will have to be patient and cautious to see the 90 minutes through, hoping nothing will be left to do against Algeria, a dangerous side that will be playing for pride in November.
Obiweluozo Martins

A passionate sports writer who looks around the world for football matches. I follow the major leagues in Europe and of course the Champions League. I'm also a lover of International football as well as watching the beautiful game from South America and Africa.


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