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Stranded Super Eagles players land in Uyo ahead South Africa clash

Stranded Super Eagles players land in Uyo ahead South Africa clash

The atmosphere in the camp of the Nigerian national team, the Super Eagles, has been electrified with the arrival of five players who were initially stranded due to the nationwide strike.

Defenders Semi Ajayi, Bright Osayi-Samuel, Calvin Bassey, alongside midfielder Frank Onyeka and forward Paul Onuachu, landed at the Victor Attah International Airport in Uyo on Tuesday morning, ferried by a private jet arranged by the Nigeria Football Federation.

The quintet’s arrival brings the total number of players in camp to 20, just three days before the crucial 2024 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying clash against South Africa’s Bafana Bafana at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo.

This matchup is a rematch of the semi-final encounter at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations, where Nigeria emerged victorious after a 4-2 penalty shootout victory in Bouake.

As three-time African champions and having reached the Round of 16 at the FIFA World Cup on three occasions, Nigeria missed out on the recent World Cup in Qatar. After a slow start to the qualifiers, the Super Eagles desperately need all three points to keep their hopes alive of securing the sole ticket from Group C.

Surprisingly, Rwanda currently leads the group with four points after two matchdays, while South Africa has three points, and Nigeria trails with two points.

The 10-match qualifying series will conclude in October 2024, with the winners of the nine groups automatically qualifying for the finals in Canada, USA, and Mexico. The best four second-placed teams across all groups will contest a CAF Play-off Tournament, with the winner advancing to a FIFA Play-off Tournament for an additional slot.

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