African Champions Nigeria seek bright start to Confed Cup

African Champions Nigeria seek bright start to Confed Cup

African Champions Nigeria seek bright start to Confed Cup

With Nigeria national team arriving in Brazil barely a day to the Confederation Cup first encounter against Tahiti, critics will be looking keenly at their performance with Coach Stephen Keshi hugely on the spotlight.

They will be coming up against Tahiti, the Oceanian champions with only one professional player in the entire squad of 23 men.

Today’s game will be the beginning of a tough three fixtures for Tahiti, with results in the buildup to the tournament suggesting that it is going to be a long three matches for them.

Nigeria, despite hectic hiccups over bonus payment in which their players reportedly went on strike, will be expected to win, and win by some considerable margin. The Super Eagles will be expected to comfortably beat Tahiti and Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel will have one of the easiest games in his career. However, he will be expected to ensure that the team does not concede a goal.

Tahiti's manager Eddy Etaeta discloses that nine of his squad members are currently unemployed and the rest, he offered, were a mix of PE teachers, delivery men, accountants, or working in an assortment of other trades. Of their squad, only uncapped former France Under-21 striker Marama Vahirua plays football professionally.

Just a goal at the tournament would be of huge meaning to the Tahitian side, who lost 7-0 to Chile's Under-20 squad during preparations for the confederations.

Tahiti captain Marama Vahirua is set to make his debut on Monday night and believes just to score a goal will represent a significant achievement for the Ocean side. The 33-year-old Vahirua made six appearances for the French Under-21s earlier in his career but insists he is now committed to Tahiti after being handed the armband due to an injury to Nicolas Vallar.

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