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AFCON

AHMED MUSA HAS A DATE WITH DESTINY

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BY KUNLE SOLAJA

Vice captain of the Super Eagles, Ahmed Musa can look back at his first international cap for Nigeria on September 5, 2010 in Calabar and should wish an encore of the match result of that day as Nigeria face Madagascar this Sunday.

It was against Madagascar that Ahmed Musa had his first international cap in the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in Calabar. Seventy nine matches have rolled pass ever since., bringing his total till date to 80.

DATE LINE: Calabar, September 5, 2010 Nigeria 2-0 Madagascar

He had a good debut as Nigeria beat Madagascar 2-0 to keep alive, the trend of the Indian Ocean Island  not scoring a goal against Nigeria.

If Nigeria score on Sunday and also keep a sheet against Madagascar, the Super Eagles would have rounded up the group stage with a perfect and clean-sheet group match.

It would be the first that that will happen and an improvement on that of 2006 in the same Egypt where they conceded a goal in their second match of the group.

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The encounter promises a thriller as Madagascar still have arithmetical chances of advancing into the next round in their Africa Cup of Nations debut.

Madagascar were the first to qualify for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. Nigeria on the other hand are the first qualifiers to the Round of 16. The Sunday match is therefore a clash of ‘firsts’ in qualifications.

If Nigeria beat Madagascar or the match ends in a draw, the Indian Ocean island may still qualify if Guinea  fail to beat Burundi.  The Guinea versus Burundi match will hold concurrently with that of Madagascar-Nigeria clash.  

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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