Finidi Reveals Super Eagles Target Against Ghana, Mali

Coach Finidi George said to thenff.com that Nigeria’s primary objective as African vice champions is to perform well in their next friendlies against the senior teams of Ghana and Mali, which will take place in the Moroccan city of Marrakech.

With the Super Eagles finishing as runners-up at the Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire, the two-time World Cup star emphasized that everything must be done to maintain and even surpass that status going into Friday’s clash against four-time African champions Ghana.

“We finished in second place at the Africa Cup of Nations and everyone expects us to maintain that high rating and be even better in a short while. Our objective is to get good results in these two matches and stay positive ahead of the World Cup qualifiers.

“They call it friendly matches but there is really nothing friendly when you play, especially Ghana. I have been involved in matches against Ghana since the 1992 Africa Cup of Nations in Senegal. Matches between our countries are serious duels and always seen as battles by our peoples. The Black Stars did not perform that well at the recent Africa Cup of Nations and they will be keen to banish that memory.”

Finidi George won 62 caps for Nigeria, including featuring at the 1994 and 1998 FIFA World Cup finals, and won gold, silver and bronze medals from the 1992, 1994, 2000 and 2002 AFCON tournaments. His first AFCON encounter against Ghana was on 23rd January 1992, in a semi-final encounter that the Black Stars won 2-1.

Afterwards, the pacy winger was involved when both teams played out a barren draw in a friendly in Lagos in March 1994; a 0-0 draw in Accra in a 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifier; a 3-0 win for Nigeria in Port Harcourt that sent Nigeria through to Korea/Japan 2002 World Cup and; a 1-0 win for Nigeria in an AFCON quarter-final match in Bamako in 2002.

“We will be missing four players who have pulled out due to injury but I have confidence in the team that we have here that they will wear the green-white-green with pride and with patriotic fervour.”

As of Wednesday morning, only Turkey-based defender Bright Osayi-Samuel was being expected in the Adam Park Hotel of the Eagles in Marrakech, with 21 players having settled in.

Ghana will also be led by a renowned former international, Otto Addo, who has just been recalled for a second stint in charge of the Black Stars.

Friday’s match will be the 60th encounter between both countries, since a Jalco Cup match on 20th October 1951 ended 5-0 in favour of Nigeria. Twenty of the previous 59 duels have ended in draws, including their last two encounters (2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches) in March 2022.

Their last friendly match, in London on 11th October 2011, ended scoreless.

Share this:

Sydney Okafor

I am so passionate about this my profession as a broadcast journalist and voiceover artists and presently a reporter at TV360 Nigeria

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *