The Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Walya Antelopes of Ethiopia go head-to-head this weekend in their away leg clash counting for the ultimate round of qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup, Brazil 2014.
The match to be officiated by Cameroonian referees Alioum Neant takes place Sunday 2:00PM at the Addis Ababa stadium in Ethiopia. Playing at home constitutes Ethiopia’s first advantage as they would want to pose serious threats to their visitors. The Walya Antelopes are known for their slick passing and the high pressing game they exhibited at the last AFCON in South Africa. However, the relative inexperience of the side might just be their undoing against the current African champions. A win by either side will guarantee their place for the 2014 World football jamboree in Brazil. Under the usual good care of Stephen Keshi, the Super Eagles appear quite optimistic as they will be looking forward to the World Cup qualifying double-header. The Nigerians are ranked 36th in the world and 4th in Africa, while the Antelopes are a distant 93rd in the FIFA rankings and 25th in the continental hierarchy. Ethiopia are considered an emerging force in African football, as they qualified for the last Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa after a 31-year absence and finished top of their World Cup qualifying group ahead of Bafana Bafana, despite being docked three points for fielding an ineligible player. Both sides have met seven times with Nigeria claiming four victories. Ethiopia recorded a famous win against the Super Eagles in a 1994 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier with two further fixtures ending in draws. After the next episode coming Sunday they will be preparing for the return leg billed for November 16 in Calabar.
Goalkeepers (4): Dereje Alemu, Jemal Tasew, Samson Assefa and Sisay Bancha.
Defenders (9): A. Butako, Aynalem Hailu, Birhanu Bogale, Degu Debebe, Elias Biadgelegn, Moges Tadesse, S. Bergecho, Siyoum Tesfaye and Toke James.
Midfielders (6): Adane Mentesenot, Asrat Megersa, Behailu Assefa, Fasika Asfaw, Medhane Tadesse, Menyahel Teshome.
Forwards (3): Adane Girma, Dawit Fekadu and Oumed Oukri.
Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama (Lille FC, France); Austin Ejide (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel); Chigozie Agbim (Enugu Rangers, Nigeria)
Defenders: Elderson Echiejile (Sporting Braga, Portugal); Francis Benjamin (Heartland FC, Nigeria); Efe Ambrose (Celtic FC, Scotland); Solomon Kwambe (Sunshine Stars, Nigeria); Godfrey Oboabona (Rizespor FC, Turkey); Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves, Nigeria); James Okwuosa (Chippa United, South Africa)
Midfielders: John Mikel Obi (Chelsea FC, England); John Ogu (Academica de Coimbra, Portugal); Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio, Italy); Nosa Igiebor (Real Betis, Spain); Victor Moses (Liverpool, England); Sunday Mba (Enugu Rangers, Nigeria); Nnamdi Oduamadi (AC Milan, Italy)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Brown Ideye (Dynamo Kyiv, Ukraine); Shola Ameobi (Newcastle United, England); Emmanuel Emenike (Fenerbahce FC, Turkey); Obinna Nsofor (Lokomotiv Moscow, Russia); Uche Nwofor (SC Heerenveen, Netherlands).