|Image Credit: Star Africa|
The Syli Nationale of Guinea will on Tuesday trade tackles with West African counterparts, the Super Eagles of Nigeria, as both sides aim for a CHAN 2016 quarterfinal ticket.
Nigeria and Guinea have never met at any stage of the CHAN. However, on the 16 occasions that the two sides have clashed in other competitions including friendly games, the Super Eagles have won 5, while the Guineans were victorious 4 times. Seven of the matches have been drawn.
Nigeria has won two and drawn two out of the last five most recent games between both sides.
However, history will play no part as qualification is at stake in this winner take all.
All four sides in Group C – Nigeria (4points), Guinea (2), Tunisia (2) and Niger (1) –can still qualify for the next round, with Nigeria the only side guaranteed passage with a draw.
The home-based Eagles can even qualify with a loss should the game between Tunisia and Niger end in a draw.
Guinea, on the other hand, have a more complicated mission; they have to win or draw and wait for Tunisia vs Niger to also end in a draw while scoring more goals than the Carthage Eagles.
To their credit, the Syli Nationale of Guinea have not won or lost a game in Rwanda having drawn both matches against Niger and Tunisia.
Players to watch
Red-hot Chisom Chikatara has emerged the early star of the tournament. The Nigeria and Abia Warriors striker tops the goalscorer chart with four goals in two games.
But the Guineans have a danger man of their own in Alsény Camara who has 2 goals to his name.
It begs to be seen how much familiarity within the team will help the Guineans in this make-or-mar encounter.
Only two Guinean club sides, National Cup winners AS Kaloum (10) and League champions Horoya AC (7), supplied the bulk of the Syli Nationale players on parade in Rwanda.
In contrast, Nigeria’s CHAN 2016 Eagles, together with Cameroun, have their players drawn from more club sides than any other. Players representing Nigeria in Rwanda are drawn from 13 different clubs including Sunshine Stars (the most with 5), Rangers International (3) and league winners Enyimba FC of Aba (2). Even relegated Sharks FC is represented.
Stadium: Rubavu, Rwanda.
Date: Tuesday, 26 January 2015
Kick off: 4.00pm
Referee: Noureddine El Jaafari
1st Assistant: Theogene Ndagijimana
2nd Assistant: Mark Ssonko