Super Eagles To Sail Into Cotonou By Boat On Friday, Okoye Talks Tough
Written by Gibson Ogunkunle on March 24, 2021
Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) have come out with confirmation that the national team, Super Eagles will travel by boat to Cotonou, Benin Republic his Friday, ahead of their second to last match in the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against The Squirrels.
reports that the match will hold this Saturday in nearby Porto Novo, but NFF officials also disclosed that the team will only travel to the match venue early same day, after arriving in the Francophone West African country’s capital by boat on Friday morning.
This means the Eagles will stay overnight in Cotonou before they head to Porto-Novo on match day, with expectations that they would be in the coastal city well ahead of the 5pm kick-off 5pm time, following which they will return to Nigeria on Sunday morning.
They will quickly settle down back at their camp at Eko Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos to prepare for Tuesday’s final game of the qualifiers against Lesotho at Teslim Balogun Stadium, which would make it the first time in 10 years the Eagles will line out in their country’s former capital.
Ahead of the encounter, Sparta Rotterdam of Holland goalkeeper, Emil Maduka Okoye, who looks very likely to start for Nigeria, disclosed that he is excited to be in the Eagles’ camp once again and declared that he is determined to be at his best if called upon to man the sticks.
Okoye, who reported for national tam duty full of confidence, having picked the ball out of his own net just once in his last three Dutch Eredivisie matches for Rotterdam, was born in Germany to a Nigerian father and German mother.
The 21-year-old shot-stopper, who was recommended to Eagles’ coach, Gernot Rohr by the former Fortuna Düsseldorf of Germany sporting director, Lutz Pfannenstie and has started the national team’s last four matches, will hope to avoid a repeat of his worst game in green-and-white.
That came when he conceded four goals on his competitive debut for the Eagles against Sierra Leone, as the Nigerian squad gave up a four-goal lead to draw 4-4 in Benin City, after which he went on to keep a clean sheet during the reverse fixture four days later in Freetown.
Okoye appeared relaxed, as he declared that he is looking forward to Saturday’s game against The Squirrels and stressed that he is targeting a win, adding: “I’m looking forward to the game because I’m always honoured to represent my country and I’m trying to help the team and to get the win of course.”