Nigeria’s senior men national team, the Super Eagles have left Lagos for Ghana to participate in the reinvigorated West African Football Union (WAFU) cup competition.
The team of locally based professionals led by chief coach Salisu Yusuf departed the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos aboard an Arik Air flight at about 17:00hrs local time on Sunday.
Nigeria were scheduled to play their first round game in the knock-out format on Saturday but had their game postponed until Monday so as to allow players feature for their respective clubs on the final day of the league season in Nigeria on Saturday.
Nigeria will start as favourites when they face Sierra Leone at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium on Monday having already qualified for next year’s African Nations Championships after an aggregate victory over another West African side, Benin in August.
The Nigerian side have since been depleted with the departure of key players such as Alhassan Muazzam Ibrahim, Stephen Odey and Orji Kalu to Europe but in goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa, midfielder Ifeanyi Ifeanyi and league’s topscorer Tony Okpotu, they have more than enough quality to call on.
In the tournament’s opening game on Saturday, hosts Ghana defeated The Gambia 1-0 courtesy of a controversial stoppage time penalty converted by Vincent Atinga before Senegal beat Liberia 5-4 on penalties after both teams battled to a stalemate in regulation time.
In Sunday’s games, Burkina Faso are facing Niger while Guinea will trade tackles with Guinea Bissau in the late kickoff at the Cape Sports Stadium.