BY KUNLE SOLAJA
The Super Eagles will be attempting to pick qualification ticket for the knock-out stage of the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations as they face Sudan on Saturday. A win for the Nigerian side not only retain for the Super Eagles the top spot in Group D, it confirms their place in the second round of the competition.
Sudan on the other hand will hope for a win to remain in contention for qualification for the knock out stage.
As usual, www.sportsvillagesquare.com takes an insightful look at the match and comes out with the following points of interest.
- It was in a match against Sudan that Nigeria became the first African country to reach the 100 goal mark in the World Cup qualifiers when Victor Agali scored the second in a 3-0 win in 2001.
- Sudan have won the African title only once in 1970 as against the three titles by Nigeria in 1980, 1994 and 2013.
- Sudan and Nigeria first met in the framework of the Africa Cup of Nations. Both were in Pool 2 of the 1963 edition of Africa Cup of Nations in Kumasi, Ghana.
- In their first ever encounter, Sudan, then one of the African powerhouses, beat Nigeria 4-0.
- This Saturday’s match will be Nigeria’s 95th Africa Cup of Nations match since the 1963 debut in Kumasi, Ghana.
- This match will be Sudan’s 26st match in the Africa Cup of Nations’ history since being one of the pioneers of the competition in 1957.
- Nigeria are currently ranked by FIFA as world’s number 36th, Sudan are ranked 125th.
- Nigeria used Sudan as launchpad to qualify for the football event of the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico after winning by a toss of coin following a 2-2 aggregate draw. Nigeria went ahead to beat Ethiopia to pick the ticket to the Olympics.
- When Port Harcourt became the 10th home ground for the Super Eagles in a competitive match, a World Cup qualifier, it was in a duel against Sudan.
- The revival mission that led to Super Eagles’ qualification for the 2002 World Cup started with a 4-0 defeat of Sudan in Ombdurman. It remains Nigeria’s biggest away win in a competitive match.
- When Nigeria missed out from the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations following a last minute goal conceded in the six minute of added time in their home game with Guinea, the Sudanese who had six minutes earlier been eliminated were the beneficiaries, fortuitously picking the ticket as lucky second-place qualifier. This is their next qualification since the 2012 edition.
- In head-to-head confrontations, Nigeria has the edge over Sudan having won eight of 16 encounters while Sudan won four.
P W D L F A
Nigeria 16 8 4 4 28 16
Sudan 16 4 4 8 16 28
- 28 Nov. 1963 (CAN) Sudan 4 -0 Nigeria
- 5 Nov. 1967 (OQ.) Nigeria 1-0 Sudan
- 19 Nov. 1967 (OQ) Sudan 2-1 Nigeria
- 25 April 1993 (ACNq) Nigeria 4-0 Sudan
- 10 Nov. 1967 (OQ.) Sudan 2-1 Nigeria
- 13 Sept. 1969 (WCq) Nigeria 2-2 Sudan
- 2 Oct. 1969 (WCq) Sudan 3-3 Nigeria
- 13 Apr. 1973 (ACNq) Sudan 1-1 Nigeria
- 21 Apr. 1973 (ACNq) Nigeria 2-1 Sudan
- 4 Mar. 1976 (ACN) Sudan 0 -1 Nigeria
- 16 Aug. 1992 (ACNq) Sudan 0-0 Nigeria
- 27 Jan 2001 (WCq) Nigeria 3-0 Sudan
- 1 July 2001 (WCq) Sudan 0-4 Nigeria
- 9 Jan. 2008 (F) Sudan 0-2 Nigeria
- 11 Oct 2014 (ACNq) Sudan 1-0 Nigeria
- 15 Oct. 2014 (ACNq) Nigeria 3-1 Sudan