Int’l friendly: Super Eagles battle England at Wembley

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Wednesday in Abuja said a friendly match between the Super Eagles and England’s Three Lions would hold at the Wembley Stadium in London on June 2.

The match will be the third between both countries at senior level, and will serve as the Super Eagles’ final preparatory game for the FIFA World Cup finals in Russia.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Eagles’ first match at Russia 2018 is against Croatia in Kaliningrad exactly two weeks after.

Seyi Akinwunmi, NFF’s first Vice President and Chairman of the Federation’s Organising Committee, Seyi Akinwunmi, disclosed this in a statement by the federation’s Communications Department on Wednesday.

“The match is now confirmed. We had been doing a lot of work in the background, even going back to last year.

“Now, we are happy to say that it is all sealed. Certainly, it is going to be a big match, between two countries of remarkable historical affinity and similarities.

“We have other matches and programmes for the team, and we will soon roll out the entire plan for matches, camping sites and training camps,’’ he said in the statement.

Akinwunmi added that the NFF decided to be strategic in its choice of opponents for the Super Eagles leading to the World Cup.

He said also that it was in total agreement with the preferences of the Technical Adviser.

“That is why we opted for England. We played Argentina (in November 2017) without even knowing we were going to be in the same group at the finals.”

NAN reports that Nigeria came from two goals down to defeat two–time world champions Argentina 4-2 in that match in Krasnodar on Nov. 14, 2017.

The statement added that Super Eagles’ Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, was elated about the development.

“This is good news for myself and the entire team. England is a very strong team presently and I believe they will give us a very good match.

“We will be able to test our readiness for the World Cup when we meet the Three Lions at Wembley.”

NAN reports that, at Russia 2018, while the Eagles play Croatia, Iceland and Argentina in Group D, England are up against Belgium, Panama and Tunisia in Group G.

England is one of only eight countries to have won any of the previous 20 editions of the FIFA World Cup finals.

Nigeria and England first clashed at senior level on Nov. 16, 1994, also at the old Wembley Stadium.

David Platt’s headed goal towards the end of the first half separated both teams, before both teams met again at the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

The encounter at the Nagai Stadium in Osaka, Japan on June 12, 2002 ended 0-0, with the Super Eagles being eliminated from the finals at the group stage.

NAN reports that the Super Eagles already have a confirmed date with Poland in Warsaw on March 23, with other dates being March 27 and May 27.

Poland are 1974 and 1982 World Cup bronze medalists, and they play Senegal, Colombia and Japan in Group H in Russia.

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