Friday, 12 October 2012



 All is set for the decisive encounter between the super eagles and the lone stars of liberia in calabar on 13th of october,the preparation of the super eagles has been top notched,the team had seven different training sessions under the watchful eyes of the coaching crew led by the boss himself stephen keshi.
The training of the opposition was no less intensive immediately, after the 2 -2 draw with the super eagles at the samuel doe stadium in monrovia,the team defeated the highly favoured black stars of Ghana 2-1 in a friendly and embarked on a training tour of Ghana where the team camped for past 10 days and moved into neighbouring niger republic to put finishing touches to their preparation where they engaged the menas of niger in an international friendly where they were defeated 5-3 in an 8 goal thriller to set up a mouth watering encounter with eagles come 13th of october.
The odds are stackingly against the liberians,having conceeded 2 away goals, all the super eagles of nigeria needed is a clean sheet,about the cheapest qualifying odd for the eagles in recent  years in the sense that they can 'decide to park the bus' and grab a ticket to south africa,but feelers from the team camp have it that the eagles have enough in their arsenal to easily unlock their brake and fly past liberia enroute south africa as the players are highly self motivated for this because the painful memory of missing in action the last time in Equitorial Guinea/Gabon is still fresh in their memory.
The liberians are not short in motivation either,the support the team is enjoying on home front is massive.Their number one fan president sirleaf johnson has promised the team with financial reward if they can defeat the eagles come saturday or play a 3-3 draw to pick the ticket to south africa,judging by the tone of the countries minister comment ahead of the cracker,the whole of liberia believe that its a mission possible Mr. Tornolah Varpilah was quoted as sayig "Football is a vehicle of national development, and so, all Liberians must rally around the national team in getting the needed victory," . He said sports including football are a vehicle that can be used to maintain peace in any society.,and their coach kaetu smith has been talking tough and his players are getting the message faster than expected as they all believed that the eagles have lost their wings and agility that they are only living in the shadows of their glorious past, thereby hyping the stage for an epic encounter come saturday.
Meanwhile, the two countries have met a record 10 times in all competitions, with the Nigerians winning six of those matches, drawing one and Liberia winning three. It must said liberia has never elimiminated nigeria in any qualifier and the eagles have vowed to allow the script  to remain so after saturday encounter.
Liberia's first victory against Nigeria was a 2-1 win in the first of two-leg qualifiers of the 1988 Olympics. Francis Manyongo Jallah of St. Joseph Warriors got all the two goals at the SKD. But in the return leg, the Nigerians thrashed the Lone Star 4-1 and qualified for the tournament. James Salinsa Debbah got the consolation goal for the red, white and blue outfits.
Liberia again registered another victory against the Nigerians with a 2-0 win in 1987 in the opening group match of the Eight Nations Tournament played at the SKD. Ezekiel 'Zico Doe opened the scoring and Africa's soccer legend, George Weah sealed the victory from the penalty spot after James Salinsa Debbah was fouled in the area.
Looking at the Nigerians, their beating record against Liberia is dated far back as October 20, 1984. This time, the
Super Eagles got a 3-0 home thrashing of the Lone Star. The Super Eagles doubled their tally against Liberia with a 1-0 win on November 4, 1984 in Monrovia.
The two matches were qualifiers of the 1986 World Cup qualifier between the two countries. Also during the days of the famous "George Weah 11", the Lone Star on July 9, 2000, stunned Nigeria with a 2-1 win in the 2002 World Cup qualifier in Monrovia, thanks to a brace from Christopher Wreh.
The Nigerians won the return leg 2-0 in Port Harcort on March 5, 2001 when an aerially potent Victor Agali was menacing from a Nigerian perspective. The two countries also met in the finals of the AFCON 2002 in Mali, with the Nigerian team winning 1-0 on January 28, 2002.
Julius Agahowa got the only goal of that match as former Ajax and Real Betis winger, Finidi George went on to miss a penalty. The ball was saved by the then Lone Star shot stopper, Louis Crayton. Nigeria's final victory against Liberia was on February 15, of this year when Liberia lost 2-0 at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) in Monrovia in a friendly encounter.
The die is cast and the eagles are ready the whole nation is solidly behind them,calabar is agog and i pray and hope that goals will rain in favour of the eagles and the loud mouthed kaetu smith can be shut once and for all and the eagles can safely fly to south africa where they will show the Whole of africa that they are back to take their rightful driver's seat in africa football and the whole world too can testify that  the eagles have landed


Foreign-based players                                            Home based players

Enyeama Vincent – Maccabi Tel Aviv, Israel              chigozie agbim                -- Warri wolves
Ejide Austine – Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel               Azubuike Egwueke             Warri wolves
Defenders                                                               Godfrey oboabona           sunshine fc
Yobo Joseph – Fenerbahce FC, Turkey                    Henry uche                         Enyimba fc   
Efe Ambrose – Celtic FC, Israel                              Benjamin Francis                 Heartland
Echiejile Elderson – FC Braga, Portugal                   Umar Zango                         Kano pillars
Midfielders and Forwards                                    Ejike uzoneyi                    Rangers fc 
Nwankwo Obiora – Calcio Padova FC, Italy
Mikel Obi – Chelsea FC, England
Joel Obi – Inter Milan FC, Italy
Victor Moses – Chelsea FC, England
Ahmed Musa – CSKA Moscow, Russia
Uche Ikechukwu – Villarreal FC, Spain
Emenike Emmanuel – Spartak Moscow, Russia

words by olusola adebayo adebayo

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