Players and officials of the Super Eagles have gotten down to business in Asaba, Delta State, ahead of Saturday’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against the Bafana Bafana of South Africa in Johannesburg.
Stand-in Captain Ahmed Musa and 21 other players trained at the Stephen Keshi Stadium on Tuesday evening as the team stepped up their preparations.
At training were goalkeepers Daniel Akpeyi, Theophilus Afelokhai and Ikechukwu Ezenwa, and defenders Olaoluwa Aina, Adeleye Aniyikaye, Semi Ajayi, Bryan Idowu, William Ekong, Leon Balogun, Kenneth Omeruo and Jamilu Collins.
There were also midfielders Oghenekaro Etebo, John Ogu and Mikel Agu, and forwards Kelechi Iheanacho, Moses Simon, Victor Osimhen, Henry Onyekuru, Alex Iwobi, Isaac Success and Samuel Chukwueze.
Only France–based forward Samuel Kalu is expected on Wednesday.
The Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, addressed the Eagles after their training session and promised to reward each goal scored against South Africa with $25,000.
Table-toppers Nigeria actually need just one point from Saturday’s encounter inside the FNB Stadium in Soweto, outside Johannesburg, to be sure of a slot at next year’s tournament in Cameroon.
It is however expected that the Eagles will go the extra mile to avenge the stinging defeat inflicted by the Bafana Bafana in Uyo 17 months ago.
On Matchday 1 of the qualifying series, South Africa won 2-0 with goals from Tokelo Rantie and Percy Tau right inside the Godswill Akpabio Stadium.
The Nigerian delegation to Saturday’s big match will depart the country aboard a chartered flight from the Benin City Airport on Thursday evening.
The Eagles are expected to have a feel of the picturesque FNB Stadium on Friday afternoon by 3.30pm.