‘Eagles battle ready for Elephants’

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By JOE APU

Homeboy, Godfrey Oboabona said the Super Eagles are battle ready for this weekend’s cracker against the home Elephants of Cote d’ Ivoire, as they landed in Abidjan yesterday morning for the Saturday encounter.

Still smarting from the 4-1 advantage from the first leg encounter in Kaduna, Oboabona said they are set and are on the look out for the pranks the Ivoirens plan ahead of the match.

He noted that there had been so much talk about the tricks of the Ivoriens and that the Eagles don’t intend to take chances.

“We’ll be at alert and on the look out for any of their tricks they have up their sleeves. “We know they complained about the officiating in the first leg and might do everything possible for us to be frustrated, but we’re ready for them,” he said. Oboabona had recalled that the Ivoriens received two red cards in the first leg and had a penalty awarded against them.

“We have been working on our own tactics, how to get an early advantage and all that, but the defensive part is crucial too.

Any caution at all can turn out to be deadly, that is why our mantra is to avoid being cautioned at all. We know they will try to provoke us, they will likely crumble at any contact and will dive if we rush into any rash tackle. We are resolved to ensure we play a disciplined game, but without giving anything away.”

The team of 18 players and officials were led by NFF Vice President, Chief Mike Umeh and had on board, NFF Head, Technical, Dr Emmanuel Ikpeme, President-General of the Nigerian Football and other Sports Supporters Club, Dr. Rafiu Ladipo and several other actors in the football fraternity.

The flight landed at about 10:50 local time, which is 11:50am Nigerian time and was well received by members of the Ivoirien FA. The Nigerian side is at the Ibis Hotel in the heart of Abidjan.

Meanwhile, the Confederation of African Football (CAF), had confirmed that the match Number 23 between Cameroon and Gabon of the qualifiers of the 3rd Edition of the Orange CHAN, South Africa 2014 would be played in Yaounde, Cameroon on July 28, 2013.

The Second leg match would be played in Gabon on the weekend 9, 10, 11 August 2013.

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