The Super Eagles of Nigeria will be hoping to maintain their dominance as they take on the Taifa Stars of Tanzania in an Africa Cup of Nations Group G qualifier in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, today.
While nothing is really at stake since both teams are out of contention for a place in Gabon 2017, the Eagles will definitely want to restore their pride with a convincing win over the East Africans.
Nigeria has never lost to Tanzania in any competitive game and nothing suggests they would do so on Saturday going by the strong squad assembled for the dead rubber tie.
Going into Saturday’s game Nigeria is ranked 67th in the world by FIFA while Tanzania is occupying the 124th spot.
That said, Tanzania gave Nigeria a scare when both teams met in the reverse fixture last year.
They created better chances but poor finishing andan impressive debut show by goalkeeper Carl Ikeme ensured that the tie ended without any goals.
With this in mind, the Eagles are aware that they dare not treat their opponents with kid gloves.
“We are looking forward to win the game against Tanzania and it will be a good preparation towards our World Cup qualifiers,” said midfielder Ogenyi Onazi.
“We need to win all games we play to perfect strategy ahead of the World Cup qualifiers.”
The record of dominance for Nigeria over Tanzania dates back to 1973 with first encounter between the two teams at the 2nd All-Africa Games that Nigeria hosted in 1973.
Nigeria edged the tie 2-1.
In 1980, at the 12th Africa Cup of Nations finals also hosted by Nigeria, the Green Eagles lashed the Taifa Stars 3-1 in the tournament’s opening match.
In the qualifying race for the Spain ’82 FIFA World Cup finals, both teams drew 1-1 at the National Stadium in Lagos, before Nigeria won 2-0 in Dar es Salaam.
The Eagles walked over the Taifa Stars in a 1986 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying fixture.
Nigeria and Tanzania did not face each other again until 2002 in an international friendly game in Nigeria.
At the end of proceedings, Nigeria overcame their visitors 2-0 to continue their impressive record against the East African country.
As said by officials, the Eagles will be using the game against Tanzania to prepare for the World Cup qualifiers starting next month away to Zambia.
4pm (Nigerian time)
Saturday, Sept 3, 2016,
Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo
Nigeria 2-0 Tanzania