AFCON 2021: Super Eagles set for Clean Sweep, to avoid Banana pills- Guinea- Bissau

By Harry Awurumibe, Editor-in -Chief, Abuja

Super Eagles

After two deserved victories over the Pharaohs of Egypt and Sudan’s Falcons of Jediane, capped with  superlative performances by the team in the two previous matches at Stade Roumde Adjia, Garoua, Nigeria’s Super Eagles are primed to beat Guinea-Bissau in the final Group D match at the same venue today in the on-going 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cameroon.

Nigeria has recorded 100% win in the two Group D matches played,  with the victory over Egypt in the first game the most memorable because of the pedigree of the Egyptian team that parades the English Premier League most  prolific goalscorer in Mohamed Salah and other top players like Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal, England), Omar Marmoush (VfB Stuttgart, Germany) and Mahmoud Hassan Trezeguet (Aston Villa, England) among others.
Yet Interim Head Coach Augustine Eguavoen was able to select a team which did not only neutralize the threats of the Egyptian “Super Star” but out-classed the Pharaohs in all departments of the game which Nigeria won by lone goal scored by Kelechi Iheanacho.
Also, the Super Eagles rose to the occasion four days later in the second match of Group D against the hard -fighting Sudan’s Falcons of Jediane who suffered 3-1 defeat in the match courtesy of Samuel Chukwueze, Taiwo Awoniyi and Moses Simon’s goals.
With the two wins, Nigeria recorded maximum six points to lead Group D and have already qualified for the Round of 16 regardless of the outcome of the last Group D match against Guinea Bissau today in Garoua hence Coach Eguavoen don’t have anything to worry about except to maintain his own record of leading the Super Eagles to win three straight group matches the last time he handled the team in AFCON in Egypt.
But while pursuing the personal record he must be humble and use this last group match to test the remaining players he brought to Cameroon because of what use is it to bring 27 players and sticking to only 11 starters.
For this reason, Nigerian fans will like to see, at least 70% of new players in the starting line-up of Super Eagles in Garoua today, just to give other players in the team the opportunity to show what they can offer the team before the knockout stage sets in.

Kelechi Iheanacho…May not start for Nigeria today

It will mean that Coach Eguavoen may wish to try the other two goalkeepers Francis Uzohoh and Daniel Akpeyi in this inconsequential tie,  even as he will  have to try out defenders- Semi Ajayi, Tyrone Ebuehi and Chidozie Awaziem, if he is fully fit, in the defence today.

The likes of Frank Onyeka, Kelechi Nwakali, Peter Olayinka and the host of the players who have not tested one no minute of  AFCON action should be given a chance to show what they can offer Nigerians.
Who knows, the rejected stones may become the revelation of 2021 AFCON in Cameroon and from there Nigeria can discover the permanent replacement for the legendary Nwankwo Kanu aka Papilo; Austin Jay Jay Okocha, etal.
Coach Eguavoen should be bold enough to rotate his squad like other brave coaches in the class of FIFA Best Coach of the Year Award Winner and Chelsea FC handler, Thomas Tuchel, who can ring a massive change in the team and still win last season’s UEFA Champions League trophy.

Battle Field. .. Stade Roumde Adjia, Garoua where Nigeria will take on lowly- rated Guinea-Bissau in Group D last match today.

Only risk-takers can change the world as can be seen today in all spheres of human lives including in sports hence Nigeria versus Guinea-Bissau match has presented the Super Eagles gaffer the another  opportunity to become a cult hero in Nigeria.

With the way the Super Eagles have executed the two previous group matches against Egypt and Sudan, any player selected to start today against Guinea- Bissau will not want to disappoint himself, the coach and Nigeria.
Although Guinea- Bissau may want to serve Nigeria the Comoros pills administered to Ghana yesterday in Garoua, the Nigerians are capable to grind out victory over their less fancied opponents.
Super Eagles are on the March Again.

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