Nigeria’s beach soccer national team, better known as the Super Sand Eagles, will be camping at Aivoji Beach, Badagry, in Lagos State while awaiting their travel to Egypt for the continental championships that will be held next month. Nigeria is one of the countries in Africa that has a developed beach soccer scene. Beach soccer is not popular, especially in land-locked African countries. The African Championships are certainly going to be thrilling though.
The Super Sand Eagles are some of the favorites for the championship, having been African champions two times before. They are targeting continental supremacy when they lock horns with the other teams next month in Egypt. The two week long camp is supposed to prepare them well enough to produce a tournament-winning performance. The competition will without a doubt be stiff, given some of the continent’s best teams will be in attendance too. Each team will be given a run for their money.
Super Sand Eagles Preparations
Audu Adamu Ejo, the Super Sand Eagles coach, said that they will have a two week long camp at Aivoji Beach, before heading to Cairo, Egypt. He was thrilled that his dream to open the camp had finally become a reality. Ejo is looking to kick off the preparations for the Beach Soccer Africa Cup of Nations right away. He knows the key to a stellar performance, is great preparation. The Sand Eagles will have to be at the top of their game, to topple some of the continent’s best teams.
Ejo has said that he has already called up 20 players whom he trusts have the capacity to compete at the championships and deliver. The 20 players will be competing for the final 12 slots available for the travelling team at the camp.
“Nigeria is a force in beach soccer on the African continent and that means any team we send to the continental championship must be able to live up to the high expectation of Nigerians,” Ejo asserted.
Nigerians will certainly be expecting a lot from the team this year after the came so close in the last edition. They haven’t tasted the beach soccer African championship since 2009. They have been in the finals in 2010, 2011, and 2016. Nigerians will certainly be expecting the Sand Eagles to bring it home again, this time around.
“We will make the best use of the camping program and pick players who would fight for the pride of the country when the championship starts on December 8,” Ejo states.
Usual suspects such as Cote d’Ivoire, Madagascar, Morocco, Senegal, and Libya will be participating. Egypt is yet another African beach soccer powerhouse and will be participating as the host. Debutant Tanzania will feature in the tournament as well. Sand Eagles have been drawn with Senegal who are the defending champions, Tanzania who will be participating for the first time, and Libya.
None of these teams is going to be a walkover. Tanzania is the underdogs in the group. They qualified for the tournament after South Africa, yet another powerhouse, withdrew from the tournament. Libya is making a return after missing out on the last edition. They easily beat Kenya in the qualifiers to move ahead to the main draw.
It will be interesting to watch the match pitting Nigeria and Senegal. Passions will certainly be high. Senegal beat Nigeria 8-4 in the final two years ago in Lagos to claim the continental championship. Nigeria will be looking to give them some payback. It is going to be no walk in the part though. Both Senegal and Nigeria represented Africa in the 2017 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup held in the Bahamas.
Hosts Egypt are in group A and will be going up against Morocco, Madagascar, and Cote d’Ivoire. This will be yet another interesting group to watch. The top two teams will represent the continent at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup next year in Paraguay.
The championships kick off in Giza, Egypt on 8th December 2018 and will be played until the 14th.
The Super Sand Eagles have a good chance of winning the championship this year, although it is not going to be easy. They will be clear favorites in their group stage games against Tanzania and Libya. Libya cannot be underestimated though. It can easily give the Sand Eagles a major upset.
The game against Senegal will be a tough one and will most likely determine who sits at the top of the standings after the group stage matches are over. If they are to progress to the Semi-finals, they might meet Egypt or Cote d’Ivoire who are the favorites in group A. Nigeria still has an edge over these teams, if their past history is anything to go by. That does not in any way imply that they will find it easy to go through them.
Overall, none of the participating teams will have it easy if they are to win the tournament. The Champion will have to be in the best form possible. It’s a high stakes championship and the winner will get the bragging rights for the next two years. It was painful for Nigeria to lose in the finals in their own country in 2016 and they will be looking to redeem themselves. Their chances look really good but they will have to work extra hard.
Betting tips sites such as fussballwetten.info/ will still have challenges coming up with odds for these games. You can visit fussballwetten.info/kulbet-test/ for predictions for the games when they kick off.
The 2018 Beach Soccer African Cup of Nations is going to be a thrilling showdown. The best beach soccer teams on the continent will be out there seeking continental supremacy. The Super Sand Eagles have asserted that the team will be looking for nothing less than to win the championship.
It will be great to see the performance of debutants such as Tanzania. It is an indication that beach African beach soccer is evolving. It is a shame that South Africa will not be participating though. South Africa is one of the best beach soccer teams in Africa.