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Nigerian Football

BURUNDI BANKS ON BRITISH-BORN BERAHINO AND FISTON TO UPSTAGE SUPER EAGLES

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BY KUNLE SOLAJA.

As Burundi possibly face their most challenging football contest ever this Saturday in a fixture that pitched the 134th world ranked team against three-time African champions, Super Eagles, Coach Niyungeko is sticking with the squad that helped him qualify for the competition.

The most notable name on the Burundi team sheet is former Stoke City forward, Saido Berahino. The British-born player made the decision to switch his allegiance to the country of his father’s birth, despite being eligible to play for England.

The Stoke striker featured prominently in the qualifiers and scored the equalizing goal against Gabon in the first leg. He dreams of scoring against the Super Eagles in Alexandria.

Also to be watched from this team is Algerian-based striker Abdul Razak Fiston who scored six goals for them in the qualification phase.

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The match will be the second time that Burundi will play against the Super Eagles. Today marks the eve of the 20th anniversary of their previous clash at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abeokuta, in a qualifying edition for the 2000 Africa Cup of Nation.

Nigeria won 2-0 through goals by Garba Lawal and Finidi George. The match was later cancelled as Nigeria was awarded the hosting rights for the final tournament along with Ghana.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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