Finidi: There is Nothing Friendly in the Clash with Ghana Tomorrow 

Finidi: There is Nothing Friendly in the Clash with Ghana Tomorrow 

*Eagles Camp in Marrakech bubbling with all invited players for the friendlies 

Ahead of Friday’s international friendly with the Black Stars of Ghana, newly appointed interim Head Coach of Nigeria’s senior national team, Finidi George, has reiterated that the Super Eagles are presently in high station  in African football, having finished as runners-up at the Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire. 

He has pledged that everything must be done to maintain that status and even exceed it.

 Speaking with NFFMedia after his team’s training in Marrakech, Morocco, Finidi said:  “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 well at the recent Africa Cup of Nations and they will be keen to banish that memory,” observed the Eagles coach.

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.

They include; Kenneth Omeruo,  Dessers Cyriel, Nathan Tella, Simon Moses, Nwabali Stanley,  Fisayo Bashiru,  Basey Calvin,  Iwobi Alex, Semi Ajayi and 

Jamilu Collins. Others include;  Bruno Onyemaechi, Olorunleke Ojo, Raphael Onyedika,  Benjamin Tanimu,  Alhassan Yusuf, Sadiq Umar, Ademola Lookman, 

Wilfred Ndidi, Kelechi Iheanacho,  Francis Uzoho,  Chidozie Awaziem, and Frank Onyeka.

Those who will miss this friendly in Morocco through injuries are; Victor Osimhen, Taiwo Awoniyi, Tyronne Ebuehi and Gabriel Osho.

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