igeria Dream Team V yesterday departed for Ghana for the battle of Kumasi slated for tomorrow, at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium, Kumasi against their host in a race to have a place in the forthcoming 10th All African Games men football event in Maputo, Mozambique. Nigeria won the first leg 3-1 in Benin, Edo State two weeks ago and will only need a draw or avoid to concede more than one goal to go through ahead of their age long rivalry.
The Black Meteors who had their hope of qualifying for London 2012 Olympic men football event scooped by Sudanese side are doing everything possible to stop Nigeria from going to All Africa Games men football event. Part of the strategies is taking the game to Kumasi, Ghana second largest city and have their best players including son of Ghanaian legend, Andrew Ayew who missed first leg in Nigeria ready for the match.
On the contrary, the Nigerian squad has been depleted ahead of the contest after Inter Milan midfielder, Obiora Nwankwo who was the chief tormentor in Dream Team V 3-1 win over the Black Meteors during the first leg held in Benin failed to make the squad that departed for Ghana yesterday.
The Player who is on loan to Parma FC captained the Dream Team V to victory against Ghana told the team handler, Austin Eguavoen, that his club insisted he should take part in the club’s pre-season preparation. "I would have really wanted to be part of the return leg game against Ghana, but my club has said otherwise after considering several factors" he said.
Also missing from Nigeria’s squad is Super Eagles and VVV Venlo of Netherland winger, Ahmed Musa, following his club refusal to release him for the all important All Africa Games qualifier in Kumasi tomorrow.
However, coach Austin Eguavoen remains undisturbed in spite of all these challenges and threat coming from Ghana but rather said his team remains committed to achieving result in Ghana. "What is important for me and the team now is to remain committed because the game is very important for us and we want to win in Ghana. I have players to prosecute the match because whoever is fielded can hold his own and that is the spirit of any Nigerian player," Eguavoen said.
On the tough talkings coming from the Ghanaian camp, the former Super Eagles coach explained that it is normal in football. "It is normal and expected. The Ghanaian team are good side and given the calibre of players in their fold you do not expect anything less from them. Any game involving Nigeria and Ghana has always been explosive, our focus is to go there and pick a win," he said.
Ghana and Nigeria holds age-long rivalry in football and you can be rest assured that the rival will be re-enacted on Sunday in Kumasi. Ghana stopped Nigeria from qualifying for the 2007 All African Games men football event in Algeria, but Coach Samson Siasia tutored squad took their pound of flesh from Ghana by stopping them from going 2008 Olympic men football event held in Beijing, China.