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Super Eagles, Pirates Lock Horns For AFCON Ticket



Nigeria’s Super Eagles resume their chase for a ticket to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations with a clash against Pirates of Seychelles in Group E at the Stade Linite, this afternoon. The encounter will be Coach Gernot Rohr-led squad first competitive game after their first round exit from the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. 

The two nations have never met before and it appears the three times African champions would have very little trouble in dispatching their lowly ranked hosts.

Super Eagles, who have missed out on the last two editions of AFCON, lost 2-0 against South Africa in their first game in the qualifiers and would fight for an outright victory against the East Africans to keep their chances of making it to Cameroon 2019 alive.

Speaking ahead of the match, Coach Gernot Rohr said both the players and officials are very much aware of the crucial nature of the game to Nigeria presence at next year’s AFCON.

“Everyone realizes the importance of this match. We are currently number three in our group and that position does not befit Super Eagles of Nigeria. It is not good for us because it is outside the qualification range.

“The players know this. They know that on Saturday they have to show character to put our campaign back on track with a good result.”

Seychelles is a leading tourist destination with plane –loads of fun seekers trooping in on daily basis to spend good time relaxing on any of the major islands in the 115 islands that make up the archipelago. But Rohr insists his boys are not vacationers looking for relaxation.

“We are not here on vacation. We are here for serious business. We have a young, ambitious team and Nigeria has a better pedigree in the game of football than Seychelles. But we must not under –rate them in any way or take things for granted,” Rohr said.

President Danny Faure of Seychelles and his vice, Vincent Meriton top the list of 6,000 spectators will attend the game at the 10,000 –capacity Stadium.

The general secretary of Seychelles Football Federation, Mr. Georges Bibi confirmed this at the match coordination meeting held at the SFF Secretariat in Victoria, yesterday.

Seychelles number one and number two men will be joined at the pre-match formalities by the President of Seychelles Football Federation, Elvis Chetty and the 1st Vice President of Nigeria Football Federation, Barr. Seyi Akinwunmi.

At the meeting, attended by the match officials from Mauritius, Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya, it was decided that Seychelles would done their traditional red –top-and-shorts with white stripes, while the Super Eagles will turn out in green top over white shorts.

The match referee is Omweno Devis from Kenya, to be assisted by compatriot Cheruiyot Gilbert (assistant referee 1) and Ugandans Isorlko Mark (assistant referee 2) and Muhabi Alli (reserve referee). Mustapha Chitbahal from Mauritius is the match commissioner while Leslie Leonard Liunda from Tanzania is the referee assessor. The match will kick off at 4.30pm Seychelles time (1.30pm Nigeria time)..