23rd May, 2012
Nigerians have been told not to expect an easy match against Peru in an international friendly match scheduled for Lima at 8pm tonight (2a.m Nigerian time on Thursday.
Super Eagles’ goalkeeper, Chigozie Agbim and defender, Gege Soriola, said although it is a friendly tie, they expect the La Rojiblanca of Peru to be tough nuts to crack.
The Eagles are going into the cracker as underdogs judging by the recently released FIFA ranking, which put Peru on number 36 against Nigeria’s 63rd position in the world.
Speaking on Brilafm from Lima early today, Agbim, who keeps for Warri Wolves FC in the Nigeria Premier League, NPL, said: “We are battle ready for the match against Peru despite all the delays we encountered on our way. We are expecting a tough match as they are also featuring their home-based team that would be eager to impress their coach.”
South Africa-based defender, Soriola, noted that the challenge will be tough with the high altitude weather in Lima but said: “We’re ready for opponents on the field of play and looking forward to a tough test against Peru.”
The South-American team, who are ranked 27 places above Nigeria, are facing the Eagles for the first time, but coaches of both teams selected 90 per cent home-based players for the match.
The Nigerians go into this tune-up game with just one loss to Egypt since Stephen Keshi took charge as head coach in November 2011. Eagles defeated Sierra Leone and Zambia in friendly matches and played a draw with Rwanda in a Nations Cup qualifier in Kigali.
Keshi and his team are using the game against Sergio Markarian’s side as preparation for the 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifiers against Namibia and Malawi in June, and the return leg of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying against Rwanda same month.
Supersport.com reports that Peru have been in poor form lately as they have failed to win in six games.
The South Americans in their last three games, all friendly matches, lost their two legs to Chile and drew against Tunisia.
Peru are using this friendly as tune-up for their 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifying games against Colombia and Uruguay in June.