BY KUNLE SOLAJA
For the fifth time in their participation, the Super Eagles of Nigeria will be facing host team as they were on Thursday night drawn to face Cote d’Ivoire.
In the previous editions, they had faced the host countries at Ghana 1978, Algeria in 1990, Senegal in 1992 and Mali in 2002.
Immediately Senegal picked Nigeria from Pot 2 and it fell into the same group with Cote d’Ivoire, he smiled and took a glance at both Mikel Obi and Didier Drogba who were standing at both ends of stage.
Both players are friends and teammate while in Chelsea. Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire last met at the Africa Cup of Nations stage 10 years ago.
The famous quarter final defeat of the Ivorians was the turning point for the Super Eagles as they ended up, winning the title.
Apart from Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria will be facing the two of the three Guinea teams – Equatorial Guinea and Guinea Bissau. For the latter, it turns a trilogy. Guinea Bissau shocked Nigeria with a 1-0 defeat in Abuja in March while the Super Eagles ‘avenged’ with similar victory in the away match.
The duel at Cote d’Ivoire offers a ‘tie-breaker’. Group B cuts the picture of Group of Death as record winners, Egypt have potentially epic clashes with Ghana and Cape Verde and then, Mozambique.
THE FULL DRAW
Group A: Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea Bissau
Group B: Egypt, Ghana, Cape Verde, Mozambique
Group C: Senegal, Cameron, Guinea, Gambia
Group D: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Angola
Group E: Tunisia, Mali, South Africa, Namibia
Group F: Morocco, DR Congo, Zambia, Tanzania