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  • Sports - Football
  • Updated: March 21, 2024

Our mission in Ghana, Mali friendlies good results - Finidi George 

Our mission in Ghana, Mali friendlies good results - Finidi

Super Eagles interim coach Finidi George has declared that the team are in great spirit ahead of Friday's international friendly against the Black Stars of Ghana in 48 hours with good results the objective for the deputy African champions. 

The Eagles reached the final of the 34th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d'Ivoire but lost 2-1 to the hosts and most of the players that represented Nigeria have gathered in the team's camp in Marrakech for the games against Ghana and Mali on Friday and next week Tuesday. 

Speaking to NFF TV, Finidi added that the focus is also on the next round of qualifiers to the 2026 FIFA World Cup. 

“We finished in second place at the Africa Cup of Nations and everyone expects us to maintain that high rating and be even better in a short while. Our objective is to get good results in these two matches and stay positive ahead of the World Cup qualifiers.

“They call it friendly matches but there is really nothing friendly when you play, especially Ghana. I have been involved in matches against Ghana since the 1992 Africa Cup of Nations in Senegal. 

"Matches between our countries are serious duels and always seen as battles by our peoples. The Black Stars did not perform that well at the recent Africa Cup of Nations and they will be keen to banish that memory.” 

Finidi George won 62 caps for Nigeria, including featuring at the 1994 and 1998 FIFA World Cup finals, and won gold, silver and bronze medals from the 1992, 1994, 2000 and 2002 AFCON tournaments. His first AFCON encounter against Ghana was on 23rd January 1992, in a semi-final encounter that the Black Stars won 2-1. 

The onetime Ajax and Real Betis winger spoke about the abodemce of quartet of Victor Osimhen, Taiwo Awoniyi, Tyrone Ebuehi and new invitee, Gabriel Osho due to injuries. 

"We will be missing four players who have pulled out due to injury but I have confidence in the team that we have here that they will wear the green-white-green with pride and with patriotic fervour.”

The Nigeria Football Federation communications department reveals that as of Wednesday morning, only Turkey-based defender Bright Osayi-Samuel was being expected in the Adam Park Hotel of the Eagles in Marrakech, with 21 players having settled in. 

Ghana will also be led by a renowned former international, Otto Addo, who has just been recalled for a second stint in charge of the Black Stars. 

Friday’s match will be the 60th encounter between both countries, since a Jalco Cup match on 20th October 1951 ended 5-0 in favour of Nigeria. Twenty of the previous 59 duels have ended in draws, including their last two encounters (2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches) in March 2022.

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