After days of counting, it is finally d-day for the World Cup qualifying match between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and their counterparts from the Central African Republic.
As we all await the kick-off at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, here are five things to know about Thursday’s game in the ‘Centre Excellence’
The Super Eagles have faced a lot of African teams in times past, but the Central Republic is not one of those teams. This is the first time the Nigeria national men’s football team are facing the Wild Beasts as the CAR team are fondly referred to as.
Nigeria ranked 90 places ahead of CAR
Though many are cautious of making definite statements on how games will go, the confidence many have in the Eagles beating their CAR counterparts is not far-fetched, while Nigeria is ranked 34thin the world, their Thursday opponents are ranked 90 places further behind in the 124th position in the world. If this counts for something then, Super Eagles are firm favourites for victory.
A check by Roving Naija on the last five games played by CAR shows they have only scored just once in those outings. The biggest defeat in those run of games was against Rwanda who pummeled them 5-0, can the Super Eagles do the same or it would even be bigger.
Super Eagles perfect in Lagos
Since returning to the ‘Centre of Excellence’ the Super Eagles have not only won their games in Lagos, they have so without conceding any goals.
Coach Genort Rohr’s men signed off on their AFCON qualifying matches with a 3-0 win over Lesotho before following up with a 2-0 win over the Lone Stars of Liberia.
Now set for their third game in the race to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the Super Eagles are out to make it a hat trick of wins
Mauritanian official Abdel Aziz Bouh as referee for Thursday’s encounter, in which he will be assisted by compatriots Hamedine Diba (assistant referee 1), Abderrahmane War (assistant referee 2) and Moussa Diou (fourth official).
The referee assessor is Jerome Efong Nzolo from Gabon and the match commissioner is Marcelin Gaha Djiadeu from Cameroon. Nigerian Dr Ozi Salami Abdulrahim will be the medical officer.