Eagles to host Guinea Bissau in Abuja on March 24

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Nigeria’s Matchday 3 African Cup of Nations qualifier against the Wild Dogs of Guinea Bissau will hold at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja, on March 24, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) said yesterday.

The NFF also said that Guinea Bissau’s football federation, Federação de Futebol da Guiné-Bissau, has not picked a date for the second match, which could hold either on March 27 or 28 in the Moroccan city of Marrakech.

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Guinea Bissau plays its home games away from home as it does not have a CAF-approved playing turf in the country of slightly over two million people. On the first day of the qualifying series, the Super Eagles fought back from a ferocious start to the game, and an 11th minute goal by Jonathan Morsay, to defeat the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone 2-1 in Abuja, after Alex Iwobi and Victor Osimhen hit back hard at the visitors.

On Day 2, away in the Moroccan city of Agadir and in only the second competitive match for Coach José Santos Peseiro, the Eagles set a new international win-record, defeating Sao Tome and Principe 10-0 with four of the goals by Osimhen. Terem Moffi (with a brace), Moses Simon, Oghenekaro Etebo, Ademola Lookman and Emmanuel Dennis completed the carnage.Victory in both matches against the Wild Dogs will certainly pave the Eagles’ path to Cote d’Ivoire 2023.

Meanwhile, 1996 champions, Nigeria, will press ahead with their objective of a second Olympic football gold medal when they host Guinea in an U-23 Africa Cup of Nations final qualifying fixture, first leg at the Lekan Salami Stadium, Ibadan on March 22.

A penalty in each half, and at opposing sides, guaranteed a stalemate in the first leg of the second-round fixture against Tanzania at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam in October last year, before a textbook free-kick by Timilehin Ogunniyi and another penalty by captain Success Makanjuola in the return in Ibadan saw the Eagles sail to the final round.

The clash in Ibadan will determine, after both legs, which of Nigeria and Guinea will progress to the fourth Africa U-23 Cup of Nations to be staged in Morocco later in the year.

Nigeria won the second Africa U-23 Cup of Nations in Senegal in 2015, and then won the bronze medal at the men’s Olympic football tournament in Brazil the following year.