By Sab Osuji:
Nigeria’s Super Eagles will attempt to make it a seventh win over Burkina Faso in all competitions when both teams clash inside Adokiye Amiesimaka Sports Complex, Port Harcourt today in a Championship for African Nations, CHAN, first leg qualifier, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
Nigeria and Burkina Faso have crossed each other’s path 11 times in all competitions in the past, with the Africa's most populous nation, Nigeria, triumphing six times.
Burkina Faso have won 2-1 once, specifically on April 27, 1997, during a FIFA World Cup qualifier in Ougadougou.
The two sides have drawn five times, setting the stage for a bitter clash in Port Harcourt this evening.
The Super Eagles made up of entirely players drawn from the domestic Globacom Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL, have been boosted with the arrival of head coach, Sunday Oliseh, whose presence was earlier rule out by the NFF following an ill health he suffered after leading the Super Eagles to a resounding 3-0 triumph over Indomitable Lions of Cameroon in an international friendly match in Belgium last Sunday.
Even if Oliseh opts to watch from the terraces, he would have spoken and psyched up the boys in the dressing room, and assistant coach, Salisu Yusuf, will take charge of technical matters and knows the importance of the game to Nigeria.
Last year, Stephen Keshi qualified Nigeria for her first appearance in the CHAN competition held in Cape Town, South Africa, returning home with a bronze medal.
Expectations are very high amongst Nigerian football freaks who will want to judge and rate the Eagles on the same ratio with the side that decimated Indomitable Lions 3-0 last weekend in Belgium.
However, that expectation may not be misplaced given the avalanche of talents in the squad, including Glo NPFL leading scorers, Esosa Igbinoba, Gbolahan Salami and Oghenekaro Etebo.
Solomon Kwambe, who was part of the home-based Super Eagles squad that won bronze in the CHAN competition in Cape Town last year is still around and would provide the needed experience in the Eagles backline.
A clear cut win for the Nigerian side is important so as to reduce the burden of having to stretch themselves in the reverse fixture in Ougadougou in two weeks time.
Nigeria and Burkina Faso Head-to-Head
10/09/13 Nigeria 4-1 B/Faso
10/02/13 Nigeria 1-0 B/Faso
21/01/13 Nigeria 1-1 B/Faso
04/10/98 Nigeria 0-0 B/Faso
27/04/97 Nigeria 1-2 B/Faso
09/11/96 Nigeria 2-0 B/Faso
27/07/91 Nigeria 7-1 B/Faso
13/01/91 Nigeria 1-1 B/Faso
29/02/88 Nigeria 0-0 B/Faso
22/11/87 Nigeria 0-0 B/Faso
03/02/87 Nigeria 3-0 B/Faso