NIGERIA’S Super Eagles lost their last pre-African Nations Cup friendly against Senegal 0-1 yesterday thanks to a first half goal from Everton’s Idrissa Gueye at a game played at Ismaili Stadium in Egypt.
Aiming for a fourth African Cup of Nations title, the Eagles will feature in Group B alongside Guinea, Burundi and Madagascar, paying in the Egyptian city of Alexandria. As part of their final preparations, the team played the Senegalese yesterday and succumbed to a loss courtesy of Gueye’s 18th minute goal.
After playing their last warm up game against Zimbabwe in Asaba last week, the Eagles flew out to the city of Ismaili on the Sinai Peninsula. With the Senegal friendly now out of the way, they will fly to Alexandria where they will play their opening match against Burundi on 22 June.
Yesterday’s game was played behind closed doors as both teams agreed to shut the world from seeing their strategies ahead of the tournament. South African based goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi started in goal for Nigeria and it believed he may have clinched the number one spot back from Francis Uzoho as head coach Gernot Rohr, played what might be his preferred starting XI at the tournament.
Nigeria started the match impressively with Alex Iwobi and Mikel Obi dishing out superb passes in the midfield but the Eagles were unable to break down the Senegalese defence. Villarreal winger Samuel Chukwueze got another chance in the starting line up, barely a week after featuring in the squad that played a 0-0 draw with Zimbabwe in Asaba, indicating that he may have found his way into the starting 11.
Nigeria’s starting 11: Daniel Akpeyi, Samuel Kalu, Jamilu Collins, Kenneth Omeruo, William Ekong, John Ogu, Wilfred Ndidi, Mikel Obi, Alex Iwobi, Samuel Chukwueze and Odion Ighalo. Substitutions: Collins (Ola Aina), Ogu (Oghenekaro Etebo), Chukwueze (Henry Onyekuru), Iwobi (Moses Simon), Ighalo (Victor Osimhen) and Kalu (Chidozie Awaziem).