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7 Oct 2017

It's Late for Chipolopolo to Qualify for Russia 2018 - Iloenyosi

The Super Eagles have been tipped to beat the Chipolopolos of Zambia in a World Cup qualifer match taking place later today in Uyo, South-south part of Nigeria.
 
Ex-international Chikelue Iloenyosi has said thrown his weight behind the Super Eagles in their Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier against Zambia at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo on Saturday, saying it is too late for Chipolopolo to qualify for the World Cup.

The Eagles top Group B with 10 points – three ahead of second placed Zambia. Nigeria will qualify for Russia 2018 with a game to spare if they beat Chipolopolo while a victory for the visitors will take the qualification battle to the last day.

Former Eagles defender Iloenyosi told a Punch correspondent that the current Eagles players are committed and are determined to berth a ticket to the World Cup in Russia.

“I believe the Eagles will triumph over Zambia 100 per cent. I’m confident because our players are very committed and we have young players who are determined to play at the World Cup because they know that is the best thing that can happen to them as footballers,” the former Turkey-based footballer said.

“Again, some of the players know that if they miss the 2018 World Cup, they may not have another opportunity to play at the Mundial, so they know this is their best chance.

“No matter how I rate the Zambians, it’s too late for them to qualify for the World Cup. They didn’t start well, and now Nigeria have taken the lead in the group, so how can they qualify? How can the Eagles be in this position and Zambia will come here and pick a draw? It’s not possible.

“The game on Saturday will be like the games against Algeria and Cameroon in Uyo, which we won 3-1 and 4-0 respectively. The team have learnt their lessons against South Africa (in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier, which Nigeria lost 2-0) and they have corrected their mistakes. As far as I’m concerned, we’ve collected the World Cup ticket and we are going to Russia next year.

The former Germany-based player said the Eagles defence is strong enough to withstand the Zambian attack, adding that IfeanyiUbah goalkeeper, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, can stop the Zambians.

He said, “Nigeria can depend on Ezenwa in the match. He is developing confidence with every game. He was the best keeper at the recent WAFU tourney in Ghana. I wish him the best and I pray for him every day because this is the highest opportunity he can get in his football career.”

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