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Sports News of Thursday, 27 January 2022


AFCON exit will make Eagles stronger – Ahmed Musa

Ahmed Musa Ahmed Musa

Super Eagles captain, Ahmed Musa, has suggested that the team’s shock exit from the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon will make them stronger ahead of their World Cup play-offs against Ghana scheduled for between March 24 and 29.

Nigeria crashed out of the 33rd edition of the Africa football showpiece following a 1-0 defeat to Tunisia in the Round of 16 in Garoua on Sunday.

The three-time Africa champions were the only team with a 100 per cent group record at the tournament and were tipped as the favourites to win the AFCON.

Despite the heavy setback, the Eagles captain said the team must now focus on their clash against the Black Stars, with the Ghanaians set to host the first leg before the second leg fixture in Nigeria.

“You know it is still a shock but I can assure you that things like these make a team stronger,” Musa told the

“We did our best in the circumstances. When you lose at a tournament, it hurts really badly. However, we don’t have time to keep reflecting on what went wrong.

“We have very important challenges in front of us, and all we can do is stay stronger and have a firm belief in ourselves that we can do it. The focus is now on the World Cup play-offs.”

In 57 previous encounters over 71 years of an intense football rivalry, Nigeria have won 16 of the matches, with another 18 drawn, while Ghana have won 23.

Both countries have been involved in World Cup qualifying fixtures for the 1962, 1970, 1974 and 2002 finals, with honours evenly shared.

Ghana edged the contention for the 1962 World Cup ticket with a 4-1 win in Accra and 2-2 draw in Lagos.

In the race for Mexico 1970, Nigeria won 2-1 in Lagos with the return leg ending 1-1 in Accra. For the 1974 finals in Germany, Ghana were awarded a 2-0 win for the first leg that was abandoned in Lagos, with both teams ending it 0-0 in Accra in the return.

In the race for Kora/Japan 2002, both teams battled to a 0-0 draw in Accra, with the Eagles winning the return 3-0 in Port Harcourt.