Home Sports Uyo on Edge, as Eagles, Cranes do Battle

Uyo on Edge, as Eagles, Cranes do Battle

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  • As Enyeama faces Uganda for first time

The stately Akwa Ibom International Stadium, Uyo will come alive on Wednesday, when the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Cranes of Uganda lock horns in a prestigious international friendly match.

The last time the venue witnessed elemental explosion of football proportions was when the Super Eagles hosted the Bafana Bafana in a 30th Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on Wednesday, November 19, 2014. The match ended 2-2.

The Bafana Bafana will be on the Super Eagles’ mind when they take on Uganda, as they also have a date with the South Africans in Nelspruit four days later.

Coincidentally, the first and last clashes between Nigeria and Uganda at senior level ended in 2-1 wins for the Cranes.

On March 14, 1978, Nigeria lost an Africa Cup of Nations semi final to Uganda 1-2 in Ghana, with both goals scored by Phillip Omondi. The last time both teams squared off was on June 2, 2007, the Cranes coming from behind to win 2-1 after John Utaka had put Nigeria ahead in a 2008 Nations Cup qualifier in Kampala.

In-between, Uganda won a friendly match 1-0 in Kampala on September 26, 1981; the Eagles won a Cup of Nations qualifier 2-0 in Lagos on August 28, 1992 and both teams drew 0-0 in Kampala on July 17, 1993.

The two teams’ clash in Abeokuta on March 24, 2007 sticks in the memory: it took a last-gasp Nwankwo Kanu header for Nigeria to earn a 1-0 win.

Meanwhile, Vincent Enyeama will be making history on many fronts if he is picked for the role between the goalposts when Nigeria confront Uganda in an international friendly in Uyo on Wednesday, thenff.com can confirm.

Enyeama, who will be winning his landmark 100th senior cap for the country at the match, and also in front of his own people in Uyo Township, will be facing off against the Cranes for the first time.

His previous 99 matches for Nigeria at senior level include a number of clashes with East African countries, including Ethiopia and Kenya, but none against Uganda.

When Nigeria faced Uganda in the qualifying rounds for the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations, Austin Ejide was in goal.

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