After staging a comeback to the Super Eagles due to the injury that denied him a place in Super Eagles’ 2014 World Cup in Brazil, FSV Mainz of Germany defender, Leon Balogun believes Egypt will fall in the two-legged 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying clashes.
Both teams are to face off in Group G of the qualifying race, at the Ahmadu Bello, Kaduna on March 25 and at the Borg el-Arab Stadium in Alexandria four days later.
“We would be targeting to win both matches. If we get the six points, that would ease our path to the Africa Cup finals. Winning will be the principle driving us in both matches,” stressed Balogun yesterday ahead of the big games.
He admitted that Egypt with seven AFCON titles under their belts are a big football playing nation.
“Egypt is a big football-playing nation, but Nigeria is also very, very big. There is no complex going into both matches and we have the men to give us victory in Kaduna and away in Egypt,” the Mainz defender boasted.
Balogun won his first cap for the Eagles in the international friendly against Mexico at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta in March 2014, but his hope of a Mundial appearance with Nigeria crashed with the injury he coped in that game.
Most recently, Balogun proved his stuff against Chad at the start of the AFCON 2017 qualifiers in June 2015, and in friendlies against DR Congo and Cameroun in Belgium in October 2015.
Like Balogun, Nigerian forward, Aaron Samuel, has assured Nigerians that getting the goals would not be a problem for the Eagles when they confront the Pharaohs.
The big striker, who plays for CSKA Moscow FC in Russia’s elite division alongside Captain Ahmed Musa, is one of the 21 overseas-based professionals called by Coach Samson Siasia for the double dose against the Pharaohs.
“Goals will not be a problem when we take to the pitch in Kaduna. We have more and bigger stars that the Egyptians.
“There is nothing to fret about. I have heard what the Egyptians are saying, that we would not be able to score in Kaduna. That is mere wishful thinking on their part. They are trying to play a psychological game. The goals will surely flow from our boots into their net,” Aaron said yesterday.
Samuel, who previously played in China, scored two brilliant goals for the Super Eagles in the 2015 Cup of Nations qualifying race – against Sudan in Abuja and against Congo in Pointe Noir.
“Our objective would be to be precise, to convert the chances that we create. We will win and win well,” he concluded.