The Super Eagles are billed to land in Alexandria, Egypt on Monday, as they finally head into the venue of their first three matches at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations, but the team are keeping their mind open for the female national team, Super Falcons, who play in France same day.
This much was revealed by Eagles’ media officer, Toyin Ibitoye, who stated that, while the male squad will fly to Alexandria a day after facing Senegal in a build-up friendly in Ismalia, Egypt, they are also praying for the Falcons and wishing them well at the Women’s World Cup.
Ibiotoye added during an interview on radio that the Eagles have already reverted to one training session per day, as they aim to avoid possible side effects of overstretching ahead of Sunday’s friendly in Ismailia.
The information department of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) added that Senegal’s Teranga Lions are Africa’s number one-ranked team, but the Eagles are determined to give a good account of themselves.
The last time Nigeria and Senegal clashed at senior level was on 23rd March 2017, at The Hive, Barnet FC and London Bees home ground, in London, when Kelechi Iheanacho equalized from the spot after Moussa Sow had put Senegal ahead, with both goals coming in the second half.
Three-time African champions Nigeria are on an eight –match unbeaten run since elimination from the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals in Russia, but that will be put to a stern test by the fearsome Lions on Sunday.
Sunday’s game is scheduled to start at 7pm (6pm Nigeria time) behind closed door, in order to enable both coaching crews to tinker with new tactics and strategies during the encounter.
While shedding light on their plans heading into AFCON 2019, Ibitoye confirmed that the Eagles will depart Ismailia on Monday morning for Alexandria, where they will start against Burundi on June 22, before facing Guinea on the 26th and end the first round versus Madagascar.
Ibitoye added: “We are acclimatizing very fast, and we are all happy with what we are doing. We are really getting there, where we want to be.
“The boys are getting ready, they are cooperating, both physically and mentally. Training will now hold once a day, because Sunday’s match is now very near.
“Sunday’s match will be played behind closed doors, because the coaches agreed that they will use it to try out some tactics on either side.
“We are all already feeling the tournament in Egypt; it’s upon us. On Monday, the team will move to Alexandria.
“That’s the same day the Super Falcons will play against France at the Women’s World Cup.
“We are wishing them well . We wish them the best of luck and hope they get a good result. It’s going to be tough, but it’s not impossible.”