The Super Eagles will play Zambia’s Chipolopolo, Cameroon’s
Indomitable Lions and Algeria’s Fennecs in the final round of
qualification series for the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals.
In what is already dubbed the group of death by pundits, the three-
time African champions, who will not play in next year’s Africa Cup
of Nations in Gabon, face a tough route to qualify for Russia 2018
given the high quality of their opponents in the group.
The draw conducted at the Cairo Marriott Hotel put all former
African champions in the same Group B, with reigning continental
champions Cote d’Ivoire to tackle Gabon, Mali and Morocco in
Tunisia’s Carthage Eagles head Group A that also includes Libya,
Democratic Republic of Congo and Guinea, and Ghana’s Black
Stars will do battle with the Pharaohs of Egypt, Congo’s Red Devils
and Uganda’s Cranes in Group E.
Senegal’s Teranga Lions, which reached the World Cup quarter –
finals in its debut in 2002, head Group D that also includes South
Africa’s Bafana Bafana, Burkina Faso’s Etalons and Cape Verde’s
“It is a tough draw, but then I have always said that you have to
beat the best to get to the World Cup. Now we have the draw, we
know how to prepare. The preparation has to start right now and
we must make good use of every single day leading to the kick –off
of the series. “The other pools are tough as well, because for me,
you can never afford to under –rate any team these days. Now we
must quickly sort out the issue of Head Coach and his assistants
and put every other thing in place in good time,” NFF president
Amaju Pinnick said.
Algeria knocked Nigeria out of the race to the 1982 FIFA World Cup,
but Nigeria also overpowered Algeria to qualify for the 1994 finals
Nigeria beat Algeria 3-0 to lift her first –ever Africa Cup of Nations
title, on home soil in 1980, but the Fennecs avenged by beating the
Eagles 1-0 to also nick their first African title, on home soil, ten
Cameroon stopped Nigeria from reaching the 1990 FIFA World Cup
finals, winning 1-0 in Yaounde in a group contest even though
Nigeria won the home leg 2-0 in Ibadan.
In Yaounde, only weeks after the death of Samuel Okwaraji, Nigeria
needed a draw to shove aside the Lions but lost 1-0. In a friendly
in Belgium in October last year, the Super Eagles steamrolled the