Okpotu Anthony of Nigeria celebrates goal with Salisu Yusuf, coach of Nigeria during 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations match between Ghana and Nigeria at Cape Coast Sports Stadium in Cape Coast, Ghana on 18 September 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
Monday Jan 15, 2018. 10:30
Nigeria will be hoping to start their Group C campaign of the 2018 CAF African Nations Championship with a win when they meet Rwanda on Monday.
The Super Eagles are out to reach the finals for the first time in Morocco after failing to do so in their previous two outings.
In 2014, they lost to the Black Stars of Ghana in the semi-finals and were eliminated in the group in Rwanda two years later.
Coach Salisu Yusuf has selected a strong squad to bring glory to the West African nation.
“We have done all within us to go with the best players available because we wish to give a very good account of ourselves in Morocco,” said Yusuf.
“There were some players who will not be with us in Morocco due to injury or they have signed for clubs in Europe. But overall, this is the best team.
“We don’t want to start talking about winning the trophy because besides your quality, you will also need some luck to achieve this. What I can guarantee is that Nigerians will be proud of this team.”
Looking at Amavubi, the 2016 hosts are also yet to bag a gold medal in the tournament and their mission is to go all the way beyond the group stages.
Rwanda will be motivated to face the continental powerhouse, but will be gunning for a win and upset the favourites.
Although coach Antoine Hey’s side did not qualify in the 2014 edition held in South Africa, they reached the quarter-finals in 2016 in front of their home crowds.
The encounter will be staged at Stade Ibn Batouta in Tangier and kick-off is at 19:30 (CAT).