Musa, Iheanacho, Iwobi, 19 other in training ahead Bafana match


Stand –in Captain Ahmed Musa and 21 other players trained at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba on Tuesday evening as the Super Eagles stepped into gear for Saturday’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying battle against the Bafana Bafana of South Africa in Johannesburg.

Goalkeepers Daniel Akpeyi, Theophilus Afelokhai and Ikechukwu Ezenwa, and defenders Olaoluwa Aina, Adeleye Aniyikaye, Semi Ajayi, Bryan Idowu, William Ekong, Leon Balogun, Kenneth Omeruo and Jamilu Collins were also at training.
There were also midfielders Oghenekaro Etebo, John Ogu and Mikel Agu, and forwards Kelechi Iheanacho, Moses Simon, Victor Osimhen, Henry Onyekuru, Alex Iwobi, Isaac Success and Samuel Chukwueze.
Only France –based forward Samuel Kalu is expected on Wednesday.
Table –toppers Nigeria actually need just one point from Saturday’s encounter inside the FNB Stadium in Soweto, outside Johannesburg, to be sure of a slot at next year’s continental houseparty, but a combination of national pride, assumed rivalry between both teams and commitment to avenging a stinging defeat by the Bafana Bafana in Uyo 17 months ago has adorned this match with a totally different garb.
On Matchday 1 of the qualifying series, South Africa won 2-0 with goals from Tokelo Rantie and Percy Tau right inside the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, as Coach Gernot Rohr sent out a young, inexperienced Nigerian squad.
The memory of that defeat has not gone away, which was why the Eagles have pulled no punches since the 2019 AFCON qualifiers resumed in September, winning all three matches to bounce to the top of the pool and standing at the door of qualification with a match to spare.
The Nigeria delegation to Saturday’s big match will depart the country aboard a chartered flight from the Benin City Airport on Thursday evening.
The Eagles are expected to have a feel of the picturesque FNB Stadium on Friday afternoon by 3.30pm.

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