The Super Eagles of Nigeria will today in an international friendly battle with Argentina.
The Eagles are also hoping to use today’s encounter to break the jinx against the South Americans. The Eagles have not won a game at the senior level against the Argentines. The last time the Eagles played a high profile friendly at the Abuja stadium was when they played Brazil and Brazil led by Ronaldinho thrashed Nigeria 3-0. The Eagles are undergoing a rebuilding process under coach Samson Saiasia. Under him, they won their last three games.
The Super Eagles first met Argentina in the World Cup in 1994 in the USA led by Diego Maradona where current Eagles coach, Samson Siasia opened score before a brace from Canniggia settled the game. The Eagles then faced Argentina in the King Fahd Cup in 1995 and played a goalless draw. In the 2002 World Cup in Korea/Japan, Nigeria met Argentina again in the group stage and a lone goal from Crespo sealed victory for the South Americans. In the last World Cup in South Africa, Nigeria met Argentina again but they won still through a Gabriel Heinze header. The Eagles got the better of the Argentines in the Olympics finals in Atlanta in 1996.
The South Americans are fast becoming the bogey side of the Super Eagles and Samson Siasia was the last person to score against the South Americans. He is today hoping to lead his boys to victory against Argentina for the first time.
Argentina is parading their second string side in this game and are without a host of their first team stars notably FIFA World Player Of the Year Lionel Messi, Javier Mascherano, Carlos Tevez, Higuain, Di Maria, Zanetti, Diego Milito, Cambiasso, Sergio Aguero and Walter Samuel. The major exclusion in the Eagles team is West Brom striker, Osaze Odemwingie, who was dropped for disciplinary reasons. Samson Siasia has also lost twice to the Argentines in age group competitions. He lost in the finals of the U-20 World Cup in Holland 2-0 with goals from Lionel Messi. The match is a warm up and morale booster for the crucial Nations Cup Qualifier against Ethiopia coming up on Sunday.