Eagles arrive to warm reception
BY GEORGE ALUO, ALEXANDRIA
THE die is cast in the AFCON 2017 qualification battle of Group G as coaches of Egypt and Nigeria are leaving nothing to chance for an outright win in the Egypt, Nigeria second leg clash in Alexandria.
Nigeria’s interim coach Samson Siasia said that despite the Super Eagles 1-1 draw in Kaduna, his side has not given up the fight to grab the sole ticket for the AFCON 2017 championship billed for Gabon.
Though, Nigeria have their backs against the wall even more after Chad pulled out of the AFCON qualifiers, citing financial constraints as only one team could only qualify for Gabon 2017 from this three-team group with Egypt in pole position two points clear at the top of the standings, Siasia maintains that his boys are not chickening out without a fight.
“We can still make the difference in Egypt,” said a confident Samson Siasia, We have to encourage the boys so that they could play for Nigeria.”
Egypt coach Hector Cuper on the other hand said the Pharaohs would adopt an attacking strategy when they take on Nigeria today in a crucial African Nations Cup qualifier in Alexandria.
The record seven-time African champions were cautious in Friday’s clash in Kaduna which saw them score in stoppage time to share honours in a 1-1 draw.
“We will have an attacking approach in Alexandria,” Cuper told a TV program on Sunday.
“We will try to create more goal scoring opportunities and to be better than Friday’s game, as we are only looking for a win.”
Cuper also said the fans presence would be a great asset to his side after security officials agreed to allow up to 40,000 supporters to attend the match at Alexandria’s army-owned Borg El- Arab Stadium.
“The presence of the fans will give us an edge. It will be different in Alexandria [than in Kaduna],” the Argentinean boss added.
The Eagles meanwhile had a warm welcome on arrival at 6:35pm local time with the Nigerian Ambassador Muhammed Machido and other Embassy officials on ground to receive them.
The team after checking into their Alexandria Hilton hotel headed to the stadium to have a feel of the turf two hours after.