Nigeria’s Super Eagles will face their Ghanaian counterparts in an international friendly at the new Akwa Ibom International Stadium in Uyo this Friday.
The warm-up game between the two West African nations is to officially open the new stadium, which is also known as the Nest of Champions, and the winners of the one-day friendly will receive the Transformation Cup for their efforts.
Match commissioner, Etubom Paul Bassey, disclosed at the pre-match meeting on Thursday that a trophy is at stake, and that gold and silver medals will be awarded to the winners and losers of the friendly match.
He also explained that the Transformation Cup will become an annual event, but that the trophy will not be won for keeps.
For the friendly, the Ghana Football Association (GFA) has opted to present its under-23s to face Nigeria’s squad made up of players from the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
Interestingly, the Ghanaian under-23s is coached by Malik Jabir, who was once in the books of Nigerian champions, Kano Pillars. Jabir will lead a team of 18 playing personnel for the battle for the Transformation Cup on Friday.
Jabir’s Olympic team will come under serious test from a Nigerian squad that have free-scoring NPFL players like Enyimba’s Mfon Udoh, Emem Eduok of Dolphins, Osaguona Ighodaro of Enugu Rangers, Gbolahan Salami of Warri Wolves, Sharks playmaker Christian Pyagbara and Rabiu Ali of Kano Pillars.
The six players have scored 99 league goals among them this season in Nigeria.
NPFL leading scorer, Mfon Udoh, who has netted a record 21 goals, told supersport.com that the match against Ghana presents them the chance to prove they can re-enact their league performance at the big stage.
“I am looking forward to the game. We have been told that games between Nigeria and Ghana are always explosive, and that pride is always at stake. As a team we are ready to give our best, and I believe by God’s grace that this will be a take-off point for us to prove ourselves,” Udoh, who will be playing in front of his hometown fans, told supersport.com.
The match, which will be refereed by Ferdinand Udoh, will go into penalties in the event of a stalemate after 90 minutes.
The Nigeria versus Ghana match is live on SuperSport 3, SuperSport 9 and Select from 6pm local time (7pm CAT).
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