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Picture: Argentina players in training in Abuja

Nigeria and Argentina go up against each other for the first time on Nigerian soil, beginning from 7pm tonight inside the mainbowl of the National Stadium, Abuja. Sponsors Guinness have called it  the ‘biggest match of the decade’.

It is the fifth meeting between both countries at senior level, with Argentina having narrowly edged three of the previous meetings while a group stage clash at the Intercontinental Tournament for the King Fahd Cup (now FIFA Confederations Cup) in Riyadh in January 1995 ended scoreless.

Argentina won 2-1 at the 1994 World Cup in the USA and then piped the Super Eagles 1-0 at the 2002 and 2010 FIFA World Cup finals in Japan and South Africa respectively.

SHAPING UP ••• Argentine players loosening up during their evening training Monday in preparation for today’s cracker.

 

Only 25,000 tickets for the Category A section have been put up for sale but a near full house is expected as several tickets have been won in Guinness promotions and top Government officials, guests of Guinness and the Nigeria Football Federation, members of the Diplomatic Corp and captains of industry will storm the venue for the highest profile international friendly match involving Nigeria since June 2003, when five-time world champions Brazil won 3-0 at the same venue.

The match referees from Niger Republic are led by Ibrahim Chaibou, who is nearing the end of his international career after handling almost 50 international matches. Over 5,000 security persons have been deployed for the match, with the Inspector General of Police having approved the deployment of a full complement of security agencies, including anti-terrorist, mobile police, surveillance squad, bomb disposal and mounted troop forces.

All spectators are expected to pass through the Area 1 Gate leading to the Stadium. The Super Eagles will wear their familiar all-green jersey, while the Argentines will turn out in blue-and-white stripe top and black shorts. The referees will be in red.

There will be a one-minute silence for Super Eagles’ defender Olubayo Adefemi, who died in a car crash in Greece on April 18, and the two teams will wear black armbands in his honour.

Megastar musician TuFace will sing the Nigeria National Anthem in a duet with the winner of a Guinness Promotion for the rendition.
Organizers have also provided the incentive of an exquisitely shaped trophy for the winner, with medals for the losers and match officials.

Argentina Squad

Argentina Squad

Ustari OscarGetafe, Spain
Gabbarini Adrian C. A. Independiente, Argentina
Zabaleta Pablo Manchester City
Garay Ezequiel Real Madrid, Spain
Fazio Federico Sevilla, Spain
Belluschi Fernando Porto FC, Portugal
Cabral Alejandro Legia Varsovia, Poland
Formica, Maur Blackburn Rovers, England
Insua Emiliano Galatasaray Turkey
Cristaldo Jonathan Metalist Kharikiv, Ukrain
Gaitan Nicola Benfica Portugual
Piatti Pablo Almeria, Spain
Ruben Marcos Villarreal, Spain
Jara Franco Benfica, Portugal
Perotti Diego Sevilla, Spain
Boselli Mauro Genoa, Italy
Bertolo Nicolas Real Zaragoza, Spain
Costa Tino Valencia, Spain
Musacchio Mateo Villarreal, Spain
Bolatti Mario sport clube Internacional, Brazil

-Vanguard

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Posted by on May 31 2011. Filed under Headlines. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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