By John Egbokhan
Having failed to qualify for the first two editions, the Home-based Super Eagles side will be hoping to qualify for the 2016 African Nations Championship (CHAN) tournament, when they battle Burkina Faso in a final round qualifier tomorrow at the Adokiye Amiesieamaka Stadium, Port Harcourt.
The match, a first round affair, earlier scheduled to hold tomorrow at the same venue, was brought forward by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Wednesday and kicks off by 4pm, with the River State Governor, Nyesor Wike and NFF President, Amaju Pinnick expected to lead other top dignitaries who will be rooting for the Eagles to fly over their west African foes.
Remarkably, both countries played the final of the 2013 African Cup of Nations I South Africa, which the Super Eagles won 1-0, courtesy of a Sunday Mba solo strike.
A total of 25 players were called to camp with 21 finally making the team, being guided by Assistant Coaches Salisu Yusuf and Alloy Agu.
The original 25 comprised goalkeepers Femi Thomas, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, David Obiazor and Okemute Odah, defenders Chima Akas, Austin Oboroakpo, Kalu Orji, Solomon Kwambe, Idris Aloma, Samson Gbadebo, Jamiu Alimi and Stephen Eze, midfielders Abdulrazak Aliyu, Ifeanyi Mathew, Paul Onobi, Usman Mohammed, Bature Yaro and Osas Okoro, and forwards Ezekiel Bassey, Chisom Chikatara, Tunde Adeniji, Prince Aggrey, Bright Onyedikachi and Dayo Ojo.
Nigeria failed to qualify for the first two editions of a competition reserved for senior players plying their trade in their country’s domestic league, but won bronze medal at the third edition held in South Africa early last year.
The winner over two legs go through to the tournament holding early next year in Rwanda.