S’Eagles land in Agadir for São Tomé AFCON qualifier
By Oviri Kelvin, Sports Editor, Abuja
Nigeria’s delegation to Monday’s 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against ‘The Falcons and True Parrots’ of São Tomé and Príncipe landed in the southern Moroccan city of Agadir.
Air Peace airline’s Embraer 195 E2 which has flown the team to several match venues including from Morocco when they defeated Liberia in a FIFA World Cup qualifying match in Tangier, touched down at Aeroport Agadir Almarissa at exactly 8:15am on Sunday, with a total of 25 players and technical and administrative crew.
The delegation was led by NFF 2nd Vice President, Mallam Shehu Dikko, including the General Secretary, Dr Mohammed Sanusi, some board members, a couple of management and staffers, a few stakeholders and some media representatives.
Having bagged all three points in their 2-1 defeat of Sierra Leone at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja on Thursday, the Eagles are set to battle another three points against ‘The Falcons and True Parrots’ at the Grand Stade Agadir, also known as Adrar Stadium, on Monday afternoon. Head Coach Jose Peseiro said at the Aeroport Agadir Almarissa that the encounter against ‘The Falcons and True Parrots’ will bring the best out of his team as they seek to go top of the Group A table.
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“We want to be the team at the top of the table, so we must fight hard against the opponents. Every match, we must commit ourselves fully to winning it,” Peseiro said in Morocco. “As I said earlier in the week, Nigeria have huge pedigree and they also have both quality and quantity of players.
It is important that we select the best all the time to win the big games,” he stated. Defender and deputy skipper William Ekong and midfielder Innocent Bonke have returned to their respective bases in England and France to attend to injuries copped during the international break.
Bonke was injured in the friendly game against Mexico in Dallas on 28th May, while Ekong suffered a groin strain in the 2-1 defeat of Sierra Leone in Abuja on Thursday.
The Confederation of African Football has appointed Liberian official Hassen Zinnah Corneh as referee for the encounter, with his compatriots Joel Wonka Doe, Ephraim Grant Whengar and Moses Forkpah as assistant referee 1, assistant referee 2 and fourth official respectively. Alim Konate Aboubakar from Cameroon will be the match commissioner. The match starts at 1pm Morocco time.