Super Eagles technical crew led by Sunday Oliseh, is hoping that star striker, Chisom Chikatara, and midfielder Usman Mohammed, will be fully fit to feature in the team’s final group game against Guinea on Tuesday.
The two players failed to train with the rest of the squad over the weekend following what Oliseh described as a precautionary measure ahead of the crucial tie.
Chikatara has been the revelation at this year African Nations Championships after scoring four goals in two games for the Eagles.
The Abia Warriors striker scored a hat-trick as a second half substitute in a 4-1 demolition of Niger in Super Eagles’ opening match while recording the only goal in the 1-1 draw with Tunisia.
Usman, who has equally marveled in the midfield since replacing Barthelomew Ibenegbu in the 4-1 thumping of Niger, was substituted in the second half against Tunisia after feeling pains in his groin.
Oliseh blamed the injuries on the duo to the artificial surface of the pitch the team played its two games of the 4th African Nations Championship in Rwanda so far.
“The synthetic pitch is taking its toll on the players. They are feeling some pains in their groin and we have to take a precautionary measure, which was the reason why I removed Usman in the game against Tunisia”, Oliseh explained.
“Chikatara is also feeling it but the doctor said they should be fit for the game against Guinea. We just hope they will be alright for Tuesday,” he added.
Oliseh, however, said the team had what it takes to defeat the Guineans on Tuesday, with the coach expressing confidence in his team.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian team which arrived in Rubavu on Sunday has declared their readiness to beat the Syli Stars despite needing just a point to secure their passage to the quarterfinals.
The Eagles arrived at their Gorilla Hotel base in Rubavu at around 1.10pm local time (12.10pm Nigerian time) ahead of the clash with their West African opponent at the 5,000-seater Umuganda Stadium on Tuesday.
The match will be played simultaneously with the game between Tunisia and Niger at the Kigali Regional Stadium. The Eagles need just a point to secure their passage to the quarter finals.
“We know a draw will be enough for us to make it to the next round, but we will go all out for a win,” Prince Aggreh said. Forward Tunde Adeniji also said they were in high spirits ahead of the game and were looking to secure maximum points against the Syli Stars. “The only thing that is on our mind going into the game against Guinea is a win and nothing else,” the Sunshine Stars player said.
By Olisemeka Obeche