Nigeria Super Eagles B coach Salisu Yusuf has insisted that the ongoing West African Football Union (WAFU) Cup of Nations in Ghana will prepare his team for next year’s African Nations Championships (CHAN).
Nigeria recorded their second consecutive goalless draw in the group stage of the tournament on Saturday against Guinea, a result which leaves them in dire need of victory against hosts and Group A leaders Ghana in their final group game on Monday.
“We didn’t have any camp. We never trained in Nigeria as a team because of the congestion of the football programme we had. So the preparations really affected the team but the players have really shown strong character to play at this level and defend well,” Yusuf said at the post-match conference on Saturday.
“It is football and we have our own targets for this tournament. Like I told you earlier, we want to use the WAFU Cup to perfect the CHAN team. And it is not finished yet, we have one more game to play and anything can happen.”
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Both teams missed good scoring opportunities as the Eagles and Syli Stars ended their game in a stalemate.
Yusuf made some changes to his team, allowing the likes of team captain Ikechukwu Ezenwa, his assistant, Chima Akas and the ageless Rabiu Ali to rest ahead of Monday’s game against Ghana.
“I always keep positive minds in football and I believe every team is beatable. So we will work very hard to play (against) Ghana to see how we can qualify,” added Yusuf.
The Black Stars have already booked their place in the semi-finals of the tournament and are guaranteed a top spot finish in Group A after Hearts of Oak’s Winful Cobbinah shattered Malian hearts with a left-footed long range strike seventeen minutes from time in Saturday’s late game.
Ghana and Nigeria will face on Monday at the Cape Coast Stadium at 6pm local time, same time Guinea face Mali at the Nduom Sports Stadium in Elmina as the group phase climaxes.