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Eagles target big win against Madagascar

Public confidence in the Eagles has hit an all-time low after the team failed to win a match at the World Cup in South Africa…

Public confidence in the Eagles has hit an all-time low after the team failed to win a match at the World Cup in South Africa and finished bottom of their first round group.

“We should be able to start the competition with a resounding victory over Madagascar,” enjoined newly elected president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Aminu Maigari.

Maigari’s board after their inaugural meeting in Abuja Thursday announced that the position of coach for the team is now up for grabs after everything had pointed to former Olympic team boss Samson Siasia taking over the Eagles.

The NFF have promised to announce a new coach on October 1, when the country celebrates its 50th independence anniversary.

It is expected that the likes of ex-Togo and Mali coach Stephen Keshi, Siasia as well as caretaker coach Austin Eguavoen will be strong contenders for the post.

Eguavoen is in charge against the Indian Ocean islanders and following the NFF about-face, he will most likely still be call the shots for the away trip to Guinea on October 10.

The former international defender led Nigeria to finish third at the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt and assisted former Sweden coach Lars Lagerback at the World Cup.

Joseph Yobo was the last player to join the Eagles in Calabar as he had to finalise his loan transfer from Everton to Fenerbahce of Turkey.

He will lead a team that will give a chance to a handful of players from the Nigeria Premier League, namely left fullback Valentine Nwabili, midfielder Ayo Saka and striker Ahmed Musa.

“We’re condemned to win this match. We want to win well so as to give the fans a new hope,” declared Yobo.

“Let’s put behind us what happened at the World Cup and look forward. Let the fans support us from the first whistle till the end. And even if the goals do not come in time, they should remain patient with the team because we will win.”

Madagascar, who arrived Lagos Thursday night in two batches, will parade about eight overseas-based professionals for Sunday’s clash.

The islanders are known to be a tough nut to crack at home going by their record in the qualifying tournament for the 2010 Nations Cup, where they held mighty Elephants of Ivory Coast and Mozambique to 1-1 draw.

However, they are not good travellers as they lost heavily to both Ivory Coast and Mozambique in the same qualifiers.


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