Abuja - With one point in the bag for Nigeria in the 2017 African Cup of
Nations qualification match against Tanzania, all eyes will shift to the game
the Super Eagles will be playing against Niger at the Adokiye Amiesimaka
Stadium on Tuesday.
New Super Eagles head coach Sunday Oliseh, who got a dose of management at the
national level in Tanzania will be hoping his side can show improvements in
front of their fans.
The presence of the former Juventus and Ajax star did not have an
inspiring effect on the three-time African champions against Tanzania on
Nigerians were on the edge of their seats in the game played at the National
Stadium, in Dar es Salaam, on Saturday.
Super Eagles' fans were indebted to the heroics of debutant goalkeeper Carl
Ikeme who stood-in for Captain Vincent Enyeama. The Lille shot stopper was
excused because of the death of his mother.
Despite that lackluster show, Oliseh was upbeat and is hopeful his team can use
the display in Dar es Salaam as a learning process.
"We came here with the objective of earning the three points, but that
didn't happen," Oliseh said after the goalless draw.
"It was my first match in charge of the team and I have learnt a few
things which will definitely help us going forward."
Also read: Pinnick remains confident despite Eagles draw
The draw with Tanzania was a dent to Nigeria's hopes of automatic qualification
for the AFCON after failing to reach this year's edition of the tournament,
particularly with seven-time champions Egypt providing strong competition in
A friendly against inferior opposition in front of their home fans should
provide Nigeria with the opportunity to build continuity and confidence under
Oliseh heading into a busy period of fixtures.
Nigeria take on Burkina Faso in the African Nations Championship over two legs
in October prior to a World Cup qualifying tie with Djibouti or
Swaziland in November and home and away games with Egypt next March.
But Nigeria's last meeting with their West African neighbors did not go exactly
to plan. They were held to a 0-0 draw in 2012 and a similar result this time
around would be cause for concern.
Niger have played in the AFCON finals twice in their history, doing so in
back-to-back years in 2012 and 2013, only to be eliminated in the group stages
on both occasions.
A meeting with one of the continent's traditional powers will give Francois
Zahoui's men a strong test of where they stand going into their World Cup
qualifying tie, which will see Niger pitted against Somalia.
However, after suffering a 2-0 loss to Burundi on Saturday, Niger's hopes of
keeping Oliseh winless appear slim at best.
Meanwhile, Egypt zoomed to the top of the group with a massive 5-1 over Chad on