The Super Eagles of Nigeria are fully settled in Khartoum ahead of Saturday’s crunch Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against the Sudanese national team.
The Eagles, who departed the shores of Nigeria late Thursday night aboard a chartered flight, arrived in the early hours of Friday in the Sudanese capital.
They would rest before a training session fixed for 8pm local time.
Elderson Echiejile, one of the 24 players that travelled to Sudan, gave a glimpse of the situation when he wrote on his Twitter account, @EldersonEch: “Settling down well ahead of the first feel of the turf later tonight.”
Echiejile before leaving for Sudan was emphatic that the Super Eagles were going for nothing short of victory.
“We are going for the maximum points against Sudan so as to be better placed in the table especially as the last two qualifying games, against Congo and South Africa will not be easy,” he said on his personal website www.elderson3.com.
He continued: “We are equally aware that Sudan will not just surrender to us because we are Nigeria. They will want a famous win, but we are training hard. Team spirit is very high and with the support of other Nigerians, we will be victorious.”
In 13 contests at the senior level since November, 1963, Sudan has only beaten Nigeria on two occasions. The more experienced Falcons battered the Red Devils 4-0 in Nigeria’s first appearance at the Africa Cup of Nations in 1963, in Kumasi (Ghana), and then narrowly edged a 1968 Olympic Games qualifier 2-1 in Khartoum, though Nigeria qualified after winning the home leg 1-0.
The most famous two-leg showdown between both countries came in 1969, when both teams tied 2-2 in Ibadan and 3-3 in Khartoum in a 1970 FIFA World Cup qualifying series.
Nigeria narrowly eliminated Sudan from the 1974 Africa Cup of Nations race, though failed to reach the finals in Egypt. On the way to winning bronze at the 1976 finals in Ethiopia, the Eagles defeated the Falcons 1-0 in Dire Dawa, and a 0-0 draw in Khartoum in a 1994 Cup of Nations qualifier preceded a 4-0 thumping by the Eagles in Lagos.
The Nigeria-Sudan clash for Saturday will kick off 6pm Nigeria time.