The stately Akwa Ibom International Stadium, Uyo will come alive today, 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, 19th November, 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.
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