Eguavoen Seeks Perfect Start As Super Eagles Target 4th AFCON Title In Cameroon
Super Eagles interim coach, Austine Eguavoen will be at the dug out for the second time in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations as Nigeria will commence its campaign for a fourth AFCON trophy in Cameroon.
Eguavoen, a former Nigeria captain, was coach of the squad when the team finished in third place at the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt in 2006. He was on-field captain when the Super Eagles lifted the Africa Cup for the first time on away ground, in Tunisia, 27 years ago.
Recall that Cerezo as he was fondly called during his playing days was appointed after the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) terminated the contract of Franco-German gaffer, Gernot Rohr after a series of not-too-good results during the World Cup qualifying series.
Now the big task falls on his desk as the Super Eagles face their first litmus test against seven-time champions, Egypt in Group D opening game today at the Stade Omnisport de Garoua in Garoua, with the maximum points up fron grabs.
The Eagles will be looking for their first competitive win over Egypt in 32 years.
The last time the Eagles beat the Pharaohs in a competitive game was in their second group game at the 1990 AFCON in Algeria, with late striker, Rashidi Yekini grabbing the winner.
Since then, the three-time African champions have lost two times in competitive games against their North African rivals and drew twice.
Both sides have since gone on to clash on 18 occasions with Nigeria setting the pace with eight victories, losing five with another five draws.
Nigeria will be without top scorer in the qualifiers Victor Osimhen, Watford forward Emmanuel Dennis and 2019 AFCON top scorer Odion Ighalo, while Egypt will not have Mohamed Abogabal and Ibrahim Adel available after both tested positive for COVID-19.
While the Eagles, who finished third at the 2019 edition of the football showpiece in Africa, will be seeking their fourth title, the Pharaohs will look to conquer the continent for a record-extending eighth time.
By and large, Eguavoen will be hoping for a perfect start to his Super Eagles managerial career by ensuring he leads the team to AFCON title in Cameroon.
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