Nigeria Vs Uganda: New Eagles Face Baptism Of Fire
Nigeria are expected to hand debuts to several of the country’s exciting new stars when they battle the Cranes of Uganda in a friendly on Wednesday at the Uyo Stadium, Akwa Ibom State. The match starts by 6p.m.
The likes of Watford striker Odion Ighalo, Norway-based defender Akeem Latifu and Moses Simon of Gent of Belgium are expected to be capped by caretaker coach Daniel Amokachi after they have proved their worth in Europe.
Uncapped Latifu vowed that the Eagles are ready to win at ‘The Nest of Champions’.
“Eagles are ready to fly past Uganda on Wednesday. It may be a friendly but we are targeting victory to make our fans smile and happy,” the Aalesund of Norway defender told AfricanFootball.com
This match will also see goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama win his 100th cap to equal the record first set by former skipper Joseph Yobo at last year’s World Cup in Brazil.
Meanwhile, Eagles assistant coach Daniel Amokachi is optimistic that the new blood in the team can bring in good tidings after Nigeria’s AFCON 2015 no-show.
“We are trying to inject new blood into the team. You know we have young players that are new to Nigerians,”Amokachi told supersport.com.
“Hopefully with what we saw them doing in Europe they will be able to show same here. We just had one training on Tuesday, but we are hoping the Nigerian jersey will not be too heavy for some of them because it’s not easy to wear the national colours. “The pressure is immense, but we just hope it doesn’t take its toll on the day so that they can give the best performance that they can give Nigerians.
Amokachi also reiterated his commitment to including the home based players as a way of continuing with Steven Keshi’s tradition of infusing the home based players and the foreign based players.
The squad in Uyo consists of 11 home based players and Amokachi insists the same route will be taking in trying to build a stronger national team.
“If you remember when we qualified for the last one about eighty percent played in the qualifiers are the home based were immense as we won the AFCON.” the former Everton striker said.
“Some of them scored crucial goals that enabled us win the 2013 AFCON. It’s a step we have to revisit.
“You can see from the call up that it’s not only the home based players but young players who are not exposed but playing in Europe and also some of our players who are not capped but making waves in Europe asking them to come and play for their fatherland.
“If we can merge all this into one, I think we should then have a formidable team.”