‘We want to win both matches’, Eguavoen warns Ghana ahead of World Cup playoff

Eguavoen

The technical director of the Nigerian Football Federation and the interim manager of the Super Eagles, Augustine Eguavoen, has sent a warning to the Black Stars of Ghana that his team is coming for victory in both ties of their upcoming CAF FIFA 2022 World Cup qualifier games.

The two west African giants will be meeting in the third round of the CAF qualifier games on March 25 and March 29, 2022. The first leg will take place in Accra on March 25th and the next leg will take place in Abuja on March 29th.

The aggregate winner of both ties will seal one of Africa's five spots for the upcoming global showpiece.

Speaking to Nigerian journalists, the interim boss of the Super Eagles noted, “There is no doubt in my mind. I am a Nigerian, a full-blooded Nigerian, and if you asked me such a question, I think, without missing words, we deserve a place at the World Cup.”

Ghana now have a new coach following their disappointing African Cup of Nations outing in Cameroon this January. Eguavoen noted that it will not be easy against the new look Black Stars who will be playing under a new system which they are yet to witness.

“It’s going to be a very tough game and a tight one as well,” Eguavoen said of the upcoming fixture under Ghana's new coach Otto Addo.

“We have a lot of mutual respect for one another, and when Ghana plays Nigeria and Nigeria plays Ghana, it’s always tough, it’s always tight,” he added.

“But you see, it’s going to boil down to us trying to go there (Ghana). We will play everything we can to try to win the game, in fact, both games.

“But with no disrespect, because Ghana is a very strong side, individually and collectively. We will just go and fight and try to win the game.”

The last competitive match between Ghana and Nigeria was in January 2010 and the Black Stars emerged victorious, beating the Super Eagles 1-0 in the 2010 African Cup of Nations semi-final in Angola.

Eguavoen receives boost as Crystal Palace winger's father declares Super Eagles interest on behalf of son

Eguavoen is yet to release the squad list to take on Ghana on March 25th and March 29th but has just received a selection boost as the father of Michael Olise has stated that he would like his son to play for the Super Eagles.

The Crystal Palace winger has been in great form this season since his move from the English championship to the Premier League. He is currently eligible to play for four nations: Nigeria, France, England and Algeria.

He was born to a Nigerian father and a French-Algerian mother in England and grew up partly in France, who he represented at the under-18 level.

Ex-Super Eagles manager, Gernot Rohr, called up Olise to his preliminary squad list for the African Cup of Nations in January. However, the young winger did not honour his call as he was reportedly keen on representing Algeria.

With his international future still up in the air, Olise has been told by his father to pick Nigeria. Sources report that his father, Vincent Olise was behind Rohr's initial call to the winger, assuring the German that his son would play for Nigeria.

He is still on that mission, which, if successful, could provide a big boost for Augustine Eguavoen's bid to strengthen the Super Eagles ahead of the upcoming matches against Ghana and future international tournaments.

However, Olise faces a dilemma as reports claim that his agent is pushing for him to represent either France or England, while his mother and girlfriend both wish that he represents Algeria.

This article was most recently revised and updated 3 months ago

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