MATCHS DU JOUR 2
Nigeria's senior male national team stepped up their preparations for the Cameroon 2021 African Cup of Nations with a 2-0 victory over Cameroonian giants, Coton Sport in a friendly match on Friday in Garoua.
The Super Eagles will begin their campaign at the 33rd edition of the continent's showpiece against Egypt on January 11 and the Nigeria Football Federation swiftly moved to arrange a friendly with the Caf Confederation Cup campaigners, having missed a chance to play a tune-up match since starting their camping in Nigeria two weeks.
With 25 of 28 players avaliable, interim coach Augustine Eguaveon handed Maduka Okoye the starting place in goal, while Ola Aina, William Troost-Ekong, Kenneth Omeruo and Zaidu Sanusi made up the four-man defense.
In the midfield, Wilfred Ndidi, Joe Aribo and Chidera Ejuke were at the center while striking trio of Kelechi Iheanacho, captain Ahmedu Musa and Taiwo Awoniyi were entrusted with the task to lead the attack.
On the day, Turkey-based star Musa opened the scoring in the first half of the encounter for the West Africans before the Nigeria's most capped player in history was replaced by Alex Iwobi in the course of the opening 45 minutes.
Before the restart, Eguaveon made wholesale changes as he introduced Francis Uzoho, Olisa Ndah, Semi Ajayi, Chidozie Awaziem, Frank Onyeka, Kelechi Nwakali, Chukwueze, Moses Simon and Sadiq Umar in the second half.
Moments later, substitute Samuel Chukwueze guaranteed the clinical victory with his second half strike. Before the final whistle, Iwobi was later replaced by Henry Onyekuru while Peter Olayinka took the place of Sadiq.
The triumph over Coton Sport will offer the Super Eagles a timely moral booster ahead of Tuesday's Group D opening matchshowdown against the Pharaohs at Roumde Adjia Stadium.
Before the highprofile opener next week, the team will play an 11-a-side in-house practice match among the team.