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Eagles: It’s total war in Khartoum

African champions Nigeria are determined to
wrestle three points off the Falcons of Jediane (as
the Senior National Team of Sudan are known)
when both teams clash tonight at the 35,000 –
capacity Khartoum Stadium.With only one point from their previous two
games in the campaign, the Super Eagles know only an outright
win will keep them firmly in the series
and with an opportunity to defend the title they
won in South Africa 20 months ago. And Leader of
Delegation to the big match, NFF 1st Vice
President, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi has stated
categorically that outright victory is non –
negotiable.
“We are here for serious business. I am happy at
the attitude of the Coaches and the players and
the spirit in camp. Victory will be ours on
Saturday.”
The spirit is high in camp as the new faces called
up by Coach Stephen Keshi for the quick –fire
sessions against Sudan have been proving their
mettle, making for good competition in the camp.
The Nigeria delegation of 66 persons, including 24
players and officials, 20 members of the Nigeria
Football Supporters Club and few NFF Secretariat
Staff and couple of journalists, flew out of Abuja
aboard a chartered Air Sudan aircraft at midnight
on Thursday, and landed in Khartoum four hours
later. The contingent was received at the airport
by Mr. Habu Gwani Ibrahim, Deputy Head of
Mission of the Embassy of Nigeria in Sudan, who
stood in for the Ambassador who was outside the
country.
There were also Mr. Friday Akpan, Head of
Chancery and the Public Relations Manager of the
Sudanese Football Association, Issam Gumaa, as
well as over 200 Nigerian students in Sudan who
chanted names of the players and welcomed
them to the country.
Led by goalkeeper and skipper Vincent
Enyeama,the playing body that also includes
goalkeepers Austin Ejide and Chigozie Agbim,
defenders Elderson Echiejile, Juwon Oshaniwa,
Efe Ambrose, Godfrey Oboabona, Azubuike
Egwuekwe and Kenneth Omeruo, midfielders
Mikel Obi, Ogenyi Onazi, Nosa Igiebor, Omatsone
Aluko, Hope Akpan, Raheem Lawal and Ugonna
Anyora, and strikers Ahmed Musa, Emmanuel
Emenike, Gbolahan Salami, Osaguona Ighodaro,
Emem Eduok, Aaron Samuel, Sunday Emmanuel
and Michael Babatunde, trained at the Khartoum
Stadium by 8pm yesterday.
The team’s Grand Holiday Villa Hotel, situated on
the bank of the Blue Nile, is only five minutes’
drive from the stadium.
At the match coordination meeting on Friday
afternoon, it was decided that the Super Eagles
will dorn all –white jersey with green stripes while
the Falcons will wear all –red with white stripes.
Officials at the Embassy of Nigeria have informed
the Nigeria Football Federation that they they
expect over 4,000 Nigerian students who are
based in Khartoum to turn up for the big game on
Saturday night.
Although temperature has soared above 40
degrees, Sudan FA Public Relations Manager
Issam Gumaa has assured that it will be much
cooler at night when the match will take place.
The match commissioner is Mike Letti from
Uganda, while the Referee is Janny Sikazwe from
Zambia. 1st Assistant Referee is Jerson Emiliano
Dos Santos from Angola while Zambian Bruno
Tembo is 2nd Assistant and another Zambian,
Stanley Hachiwa is Reserve Referee.
Sudan’s Senior National Team have not beaten
their Nigerian counterpart since 1967, when they
edged a 1968 Olympic Games qualifier 2-1 at the
same venue. But in July 2001, the Super Eagles
lashed their hosts 4-0 in Khartoum’s twin city,
Omdurman, to virtually seal a place at the 2002
FIFA World Cup finals in Korea/Japan.

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