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Finidi targets Ghana, Mali scalp in friendlies

Finidi targets Ghana, Mali scalp in friendlies

Super Eagles stand-in coach Finidi George says he aims to earn good results in the upcoming friendly games against Ghana and Mali’s senior teams, scheduled for the city of Marrakech in Morocco.

Finidi while looking ahead to Friday’s clash with four-time African champions Ghana reiterated that the Super Eagles are presently in high station in African football, having finished as runners-up at the Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire, and everything must be done to maintain that status and even exceed it.

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“We finished in second place at the Africa Cup of Nations and everyone expects us to maintain that high rating and be even better in a short while. Our objective is to get good results in these two matches and stay positive ahead of the World Cup qualifiers.

“They call it friendly matches but there is really nothing friendly when you play, especially Ghana. I have been involved in matches against Ghana since the 1992 Africa Cup of Nations in Senegal. Matches between our countries are serious duels and always seen as battles by our peoples. The Black Stars did not perform that well at the recent Africa Cup of Nations and they will be keen to banish that memory.”

“We will be missing four players who have pulled out due to injury but I have confidence in the team that we have here that they will wear the green-white-green with pride and with patriotic fervour.”

As of Wednesday morning, only Turkey-based defender Bright Osayi-Samuel was being expected in the Adam Park Hotel of the Eagles in Marrakech, with 21 players having settled in.

Ghana will also be led by a renowned former international, Otto Addo, who has just been recalled for a second stint in charge of the Black Stars.

Friday’s match will be the 60th encounter between both countries, since a Jalco Cup match on 20th October 1951 ended 5-0 in favour of Nigeria. Twenty of the previous 59 duels have ended in draws, including their last two encounters (2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches) in March 2022.

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