[TR Sport] Eagles face Tanzania test

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German coach, Gernot Rohr, will lead the Super Eagles out against Tanzania in a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at the Akwa Ibom Stadium, Uyo, on Saturday (today).

It is the first match which the coach, who was employed last month, will be in charge of the team.

Although the two teams have no need for the match as they have both crashed out of the race to Gabon 2017, the match will be a great test for the German coach as the country prepares for the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifiers, which will begin against Zambia in Ndola on October 3. The Eagles are drawn in the same group with Cameroon, Zambia and Algeria in the World Cup qualifiers.

With the failure of the country to qualify for two consecutive AFCONS and the non-qualification of the country’s age grade teams for any competition in 2017, Nigerians are focused on the Eagles’ campaign in the Russia 2018 qualifiers, expecting that the German will lead the country through.

But the former Niger Republic coach, who earns $40,000 monthly and was given a mandate by the Nigeria Football Federation to take Nigeria to the 2018 World Cup, has reportedly said there is no guarantee that the country will appear at the quadrennial event.

“There is no guarantee that the Super Eagles will be in Russia because there is so much quality in our group, but the motivation is very high. We are going to try our best, but again, I cannot guarantee that Nigeria is going to the next World Cup,” the German was quoted as saying on Friday.

Rohr has managed three African countries before Nigeria – Gabon, Niger and Burkina Faso – but none of them qualified for the World Cup under him.

For Saturday’s match, Rohr invited 24 players – only three of which are home-based. He recalled Israel-based Nosa Igiebor, who last played for the Eagles in 2014 under late coach Stephen Keshi.

As the coach will be seeking to start his Eagles career with an impressive win, the players will also be seeking to impress the new coach to enable them to secure a place in the World Cup qualifiers.

However, Tanzania will also be seeking to cause an upset against the three-time African champions on Saturday. The Taifa Stars have yet to record a victory over Nigeria in a competitive match. The two sides have met seven times with Nigeria beating Tanzania four times and three matches ending in a draw.

The last time they met was in September 2015 in the first leg of the qualifiers played in Dar es Salaam ended in a goalless draw for both sides.

Former international, Etim Esin, has warned Rohr to be wary of Tanzania in the match on Saturday, saying the German should not treat the game as an unimportant one.

“The match against Tanzania should be handled with caution by both the coach and the players. Nigerians are waiting to see if the new coach will justify the huge noise that greeted his arrival and the pay he will be earning,” Etim said.

“The game will be a test of Nigeria’s readiness for the World Cup qualifiers, which is all what Nigerians are looking at now. It will be very sad if we fail to qualify for that one too.

“It has been a while that Nigerians have been clamouring for a definite playing pattern for the Eagles because the team recently have been playing with different pattern. So the match will show what Rohr’s plans for the team are and as such, he should not take it with levity.”

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Rancy Jay

Rancy Jay

I Dont have much to say about myself but an artiste and also a blogger, born to blog, promote, hype and update the latest updates. Adeniyi Fashina by name but popularly known as Rancy Jay, base in lagos... what more? if you need more mail me info@toorugged.com

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