Eagles In Trouble! by Augustine Akhilomen

Super Eagles hopes of picking the sole ticket in group G of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations is under serious threat as chart leaders, Pharaohs of Egypt smashed Le Sao 5-1 away from home on Sunday to remain top of the group.

The seven times Africa champions is aiming to make a return to the bi-annual tournament after five years absence, which has seen the team dropped in both FIFA and Africa rankings.The victory means the Pharaohs is leading with six points, two points ahead of the Super Eagles which is on four points after drawing 0-0 against the Taifa Stars on Saturday.

Goals from hattrick hero, Basem Morsi, Mohamed Salah and Mahmoud Kahraba ensured the team earns a comfortable victory over Chad to further brighten its chances of qualifying for Gabon 2017 fiesta.

Aware that the winner of the group automatically qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations, Nigeria’s task of dethroning the Northern Africans has been made difficult considering that the two teams will face each other in a double header clash that could determine their fate.  The Super Eagles, which reached the last-16 at last year’s World Cup, was dominated by the Taifa Stars through much of the match as a new-look line-up, much changed from the side under previous coach Stephen Keshi, made little impact.

Nigeria next play Egypt between March 23 or 26 at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna, in what would be a win or burst encounter if the team must take control of the group before traveling four days later to face them in Cairo.

Interestingly, both teams have met 17 times in all competitions and the Super Eagles has won five, lost six and drawn six.

DAILY INDEPENDENT