Saturday, October 11, 2014

Big match feature: Nigeria vs Sudan

pic courtesy
The 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers continue this weekend with match day 3 as Nigeria's Super Eagles travel to Khartoum to face the Sudanese national team in what is a must win game for both sides in Group A.

Nigeria, the reigning African champions have just a point from two matches while Sudan have no point. Both countries take up the rear spots in the group and will need to get points on the board if they are to make their qualification dreams come true.

Embattled Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi has a herculean task in Khartoum as he tries to ginger up his team to get back to winning ways, after going win less in the Super Eagles' last four internationals.

Match background

Nigeria have one point from two matches after losing 3-2 to Congo in Calabar and eking out a goalless draw against South Africa in Cape Town.

Both teams have lost their home games and Sudan will look to turn the tide against the Super Eagles.
Stephen Keshi has handed out debut call-ups to four new players in a bid to freshen up the squad.

Midfielders Ugonna Anyora and Hope Akpan and strikers Emmanuel Sunday and China-based Aaron Samuel are the new boys the coach will hope can add some much needed spice to his team.

Sudan coach Abdallah Mazda has stuck with the same squad which prosecuted the first batch of matches with players drawn primarily from the two big clubs in Sudan - Al Hilal and El- Merriekh.

The 3-0 pounding the Falcons of Jediane received at the hands of Bafana Bafana of South Africa in Omdurman in September will surely play on the minds of the Sudanese players as they will try to avoid another home defeat which will automatically put paid to their qualification campaign.

Head to head

Nigeria and Sudan have met a total of 13 times at full international level with Nigeria edging out the Falcons of Jediane with seven wins, four draws and two losses.

Games in numbers:

Sudan 4 Nigeria 0 - November 1963
Sudan 2 Nigeria 1 - November 1967
Nigeria 1 Sudan 0- November 1967
Nigeria 2 Sudan 2 - September 1969
Sudan 3 Nigeria 3 - October 1969
Sudan 1 Nigeria 1 - April 1973
Nigeria 2 Sudan 1 - April 1973
Nigeria 1 Sudan 0 - March 1976
Sudan 0 Nigeria 0 - August 1992
Nigeria 4 Sudan 0 - April 1993
Nigeria 3 Sudan 0 - January 2001
Sudan 0 Nigeria 4 -July 2001
Nigeria 2 Sudan 0 - January 2008

Squad news:

Nigeria will be without injured Victor Moses and Michael Babatunde and while Moses is likely to be out for up to three weeks, Babatunde is facing a race against time to be fit for the home game next Wednesday.

The Super Eagles will also welcome back team captain and first choice goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama after he missed out the first two matches of the series.

Sudan have no injury worries as coach Mazda has stuck with the same squad that lost both games in Omdurman and Pointe Noire.

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Form coming into the game:



Players to watch


Mudathir ElTayeb 'Kareka':

The 26-year-old will be the main man in attack for the Falcons of Jediane. He has scored 54 times in 85 matches for Al Hilal in the Sudanese Premier League.

He also scored twice as Sudan made the quarterfinals of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

Bakri AbdelGadir:

Plays alongside Kareka at Al Hilal and he will be the other main attacking threat for Sudan. He is expected to partner with Kareka upfront against the Super Eagles.

He is very fast, very good at exploiting spaces and playing between the lines; the two strikers are regulars with club side Al Hilal and have created a good strike partnership over the years.


Vincent Enyeama:
The OSC Lille goalkeeper has been a loyal servant to the Super Eagles for more than a decade and, like a good wine, keeps improving with age.

He missed the first two group games against Congo and South Africa, but will once again be relied upon to keep the Sudanese attackers at bay and help Nigeria come out unscathed in Khartoum

Ahmed Musa:

One of the Super Eagles' unheralded players. Blessed with pace and trickery, the CSKA Moscow man can hurt any team on his day.

Nigeria will rely on his pace in the game and hopefully Musa will improve one aspect of his game that needs polishing - his crosses and delivery.




Vincent Enyeama (Lille OSC, France); Austin Ejide (Hapoel Be'er Sheva, Israel); Chigozie Agbim (Gombe United)


Elderson Echiejile (Monaco FC, France); Juwon Oshaniwa (Ashdod FC, Israel); Efe Ambrose (Celtic FC, Scotland); Godfrey Oboabona (Rizespor FC, Turkey); Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves, Nigeria); Kenneth Omeruo (Middlesbrough, England)


John Mikel Obi (Chelsea FC, England); Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio, Italy); Nosa Igiebor (Maccabi Haifa FC, Israel); Omatsone Aluko (Hull City, England); Hope Akpan (Reading FC, England); Raheem Lawal (Eskisehirspor FC, Turkey); Anyora Ugonna (Haugesund FC, Norway): Emem Udouk (Dolphins FC, Nigeria)


Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Emmanuel Emenike (Fenerbahce FC, Turkey); Gbolahan Salami (Warri Wolves, Nigeria); Osaguona Ighodaro (Enugu Rangers, Nigeria); Victor Moses (Stoke City, England); Aaron Samuel (Guangzhou R & F, China); Emmanuel Sunday (SV Scholz Grodig, Austria);


Moez Mahjoub (Al Hilal), A. Al Dayea (Ahly Shandy), Akram Hadi Saleem (Ahli Khartoum)


Amir Kamal, M. Abdallah, A. Gaafar, Khamis (Al Merriekh) Salah Nimr (Khartoum) Faris Abdullah, Jalal (Al Ahly Shandy, Al Rayah Ali (Ahli Khartoum) Tahir El Hadj (Rabta Kosti)


Nazar Hamid, Muhand, Besha, Shigail (Al Hilal) Ramadan Agab (Al Merriekh) Mojahid Faroug, Amr (Ahly Shandy) Badr Aldin (Khartoum)


Mudahir Kareka, Bakri Madena, Salah Jizoli (Al Hilal) Hossam Naseldin (Rabta Kosti) Mohsen Hassan (Ahly Shandy)

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