AFCON 2019: Eagles line up Zimbabwe, Senegal friendlies

Nigeria will square up to Zimbabwe and Senegal in pre-AFCON 2019 friendly matches in the month of June, the Nigeria Football Federation has confirmed.

The three-time African champions will open camp in Asaba, capital of Delta State, June 2 ahead of the clash with the Warriors of Zimbabwe at the Stephen Keshi Stadium on June 8.

Zimbabwe, who have in their ranks globally-acknowledged talents Knowledge Musona and Kharma Billiat, finished top of a qualifying group that included two-time African champions, Democratic Republic of Congo, a resurgent Liberia and 1972 AFCON winners, Congo Brazzaville.

The day after the match with the Warriors, the Super Eagles delegation will depart Asaba aboard a chartered flight for Ismailia, Egypt, where they will set up a final training camp.

On June 16, the Eagles will file out against Africa’s number one-ranked team, Senegal, at the Ismailia Stadium in their final tune-up game.

This is a match to look forward to between Africa’s number one and number three-ranked teams, just few days to the kick-off of the 32nd Africa Cup of Nations.

The President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Melvin Pinnick, said on Thursday: “We have sealed the matches with the Warriors of Zimbabwe and the Lions of Teranga and these are two matches we are really looking forward to.

“There cannot possibly be a better way to get into the AFCON spirit than playing the number one –ranked team in Africa just before the finals begin.”

His Senegalese counterpart, Augustine Senghor, stated: “We shall only have one friendly match against Nigeria as we prepare for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.”

Apart from being Africa’s number one-ranked team, the Lions of Teranga have in their ranks the revered Liverpool FC of England pointman, Sadio Mane.

They come up against a Nigeria side also brimming with talent, depth and creativity.

The day after the clash with Senegal, the Super Eagles’ delegation will move to Alexandria, venue of their Group B games.

They take on Burundi on June 22, tackle Guinea on June 26 and confront Madagascar on June 30.