Ordinarily, a battle of any kind including football matches between the ‘Giant of Africa’, Nigeria and her West African neighbours, Benin Republic formerly known as Dahomey, could be termed as “a walkover” because of the political and economic status of Nigeria as well as abundant sports talents the country can boast of.
Already, the Nigerian delegation arrived the host country aboard four chartered Executive Boats which sailed from Lekki Jetty in Lagos state via Badagry to Porto Novo amidst funfare. This is the second time in history Nigerian football team is going for international football engagement thorough the sea. Only Nigeria’s 1949 ‘UK Tourist’ team had travelled by sea from Apapa Wharf to Liverpool in England, United Kingdom. The 2021 team has settled at Golden Tulip de Diplomat in Cotonou from where they will drive to and from Porto Novo, the match venue on Saturday.
In Eagles camp in Porto Novo are players plying their trade in the top European clubs. They include Leicester City duo of Kelechi Iheanacho aka ‘Senior Man’ and Winifred Ndidi; Everton’s Alexander Iwobi; Victor Osinhen of SS Napoli, Paul Onuachu of Genk; Samuel Chukwueze of Villarreal and Zeidu Sanusi of FC Porto as well as Scottish Premier League players like Leon Balogun and Joe Ayodele Aribo.
However, Coach of the Squirrels of Benin Republic Monsieur Michel Dussuyer, has stated that his wards will be out to create problems for the Super Eagles in Saturday’s qualifying fixture at the Stade Charles de Gaulle in Porto Novo.
Dussuyer who is not new in African football terrain means every word he has said as he is capable of moulding the “average players” in the Benin Republic squad who play in the lower clubs mostly in France into a strong team that will truly pose danger to Super Eagles.