BY KUNLE SOLAJA
While the Super Eagles were in action against Liberia on Friday afternoon in Lagos, Cape Verde national team at about the same time resumed training for the potentially crunchy match with Nigeria on Tuesday.
According to one of the leading newspapers in the chain of islands republic, Expresso das Ilhas, the training took place at the Adérito Sena Stadium.
It was the first training session for Tuesday’s match against Nigeria. www.sportsvillagesquare.com learnt from the publication that Tuesday’s match to be played at the Adérito Sena Stadium marks the return of the team nicknamed “Tubarões Azuis” (Blue Sharks) to São Vicente 20 years after the last official game.
Friday afternoon’s training, session was reportedly opened to the media and it started around 4pm local time, the possible kickoff time for Tuesday’s match.
The coach, Pedro Leitão, known in the football world as ‘Bubista’, remarked that he wanted the team at full strength to win the three points, after Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with the Central African Republic.
“From the moment we finished the game in the Central African Republic, we started thinking about this game.
“Obviously we want to be as strong as possible to look for the three points. As we create opportunities with the Central African Republic, we are confident that we will also be able to create with Nigeria and any other team. We always enter the field with a spirit of victory”, he remarked.
Bubista hopes to have all players available on Tuesday.
In Friday’s training, the footballers were reportedly divided between training on the pitch to improve their physical condition or the work of recovery, taking into account that several of those called up played on Wednesday.
“It is also a day for us to start preparing for the game against Nigeria, to standardize our thinking so that, upon entering the field, we know what to do at each moment of the game, with team spirit and victory”, he pointed out.
One of the strikers, Ryan Mendes, was quoted as saying that the group was focused and hoped to get a victory in the team’s return to São Vicente, for an official game, two decades later.
“The group is excited and focused. We hope to play a good game and leave here with a victory for Cape Verde and for the people of São Vicente”, he remarked.