By Emmanuel Adeleke
With the ongoing 33rd edition of Africa Cup of Nations entering the third day, the Super Eagles of Nigeria will be up against the Pharaohs of Egypt at the Stade Roumdé Adjia, Garoua, as both sides aimed to begin their title run on a good note.
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.
The rivalry between the two sides dated back to 1960, when Nigeria secured a 2-1 friendly victory in their first encounter at the National Stadium in Lagos.
Both teams have since gone on to clash on 18 occasions with Nigeria recording eight victories, five losses and five draws.
The Super Eagles are one of the most successful nations on the continent, after winning the 2013 AFCON title, defeating Burkina Faso 1-0 courtesy of Sunday Mba’s stunner.
While the Eagles, who finished third at the 2019 edition of the football showpiece will be seeking their fourth title, the Pharaohs will look to conquer the continent for a record-extending eighth time.
The Eagles qualified for their 19th AFCON appearance, enjoying an unbeaten qualification where they finished at the top of Group L with 14 point.
While Nigeria will be seeking an opening-day victory over Egypt, Pharaoh’s coach, Carlos Queiroz said his ambition was to go unbeaten throughout the tournament.
Egypt’s last AFCON title win was in 2010 when they saw off Ghana 1-0, courtesy of Mohamed Nagy’s 85th-minute strike in the final and will be eager to start the campaign on a good note.
There are three games to be played on Tuesday.
See schedule below;
Algeria vs Sierria Leone, 2 pm
Nigeria vs Egypt, 5pm
Sudan vs Guinea-Bissau, 8pm
(Both games will be played at Roumdé Adjia stadium)