Nigeria’s Super Eagles B arrived in Rwanda on Friday, 24 hours to kick-off of the 4th African Nations Championship in that country.
A team of 23 players and 12 officials landed at the Kigali International Airport in the early afternoon, after flying for about three hours from Johannesburg’s Oliver Tambo International Airport.
The Eagles spent two weeks perfecting pre-Championship strategies and tactics at the High Performance Centre in Pretoria, after spending another two weeks at a training camp in Abuja.
In Pretoria, the team lashed University of Pretoria 3-0, drew 1-1 with 2011 CHAN runners-up Angola and pipped Cote d’Ivoire 1-0 in friendlies.
“We have arrived. Everyone is in the mood and there is robust self-belief among the players. They are rearing to go,” Super Eagles’ Media Officer, Toyin Ibitoye told thenff.com from Kigali.
The 2014 bronze medallists are staying at the Hill View Hotel in Kigali – the same hotel where the Super Eagles A stayed for a 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against the Amavubi four years ago.
The 4th African Nations Championship kicks off on Saturday with host Rwanda taking on Cote d’Ivoire and Gabon locking horns against Morocco at Kigali’s Amahoro Stadium – also the venue for the final match on February 7.
Eagles play the Mena of Niger Republic in their first match of the campaign at the Stade Regional de Nyamirambo, Kigali on Monday, starting from 6pm Rwanda time (4pm Nigeria time).
Nigeria will also play Tunisia – champions of the 2nd edition of the competition in Sudan five years ago – at the same Stade Regional de Nyamirambo on Friday, 22nd January, before traveling to Gisenyi to play Guinea at the Rubavu Stadium on Tuesday, 26th January.
In 2014, the Super Eagles B lost 1-2 to Mali in the opening match in Cape Town, before defeating Mozambique 4-2 and then thrashing host South Africa 3-1 to reach the quarter -finals. In the quarter finals, they came back from three goals down to eliminate Morocco 4-3, but lost on penalties to Ghana’s Black Stars in the semi finals.
In the third place match, the Eagles defeated Zimbabwe 1-0 to clinch bronze.