Later this month, Nigeria’s Super Eagles will engage in two high-profile friendly matches against Ghana’s Black Stars and Mali’s Les Aigles in the Moroccan city of Marrakech, leadership reports.

These matches have been arranged by NFF’s FIFA Match Agent, Jairo Pachon of Eurodata Sport.

The clash with Ghana’s Black Stars, scheduled for Friday, March 22nd, promises to reignite memories of a longstanding rivalry spanning 73 years between the West African powerhouses. Their history dates back to October 1951 when Nigeria triumphed over the then Gold Coast team 5-0 in a Jalco Cup encounter in Lagos.

Most recently, the two teams faced off in March 2022 in a two-legged play-off for a spot in the FIFA World Cup finals in Qatar. The Black Stars emerged victorious on the away-goal rule after a 1-1 aggregate scoreline.

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Nigeria and Mali, both nicknamed ‘Eagles’, last met in a friendly match in Rouen, France, during the summer of 2016, resulting in a goalless draw. Prior to that, the Malian Eagles suffered a 1-4 defeat to eventual champions Super Eagles in Durban during the semi-finals of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.

The rivalry between Nigeria and Ghana will resume at the Grand Stade de Marrakech at 4pm Morocco time on March 22nd. Meanwhile, Nigeria’s encounter with Mali will kick off at the same venue at 9pm on Tuesday, March 26th.

Nigeria has maintained the core of the squad that reached the runner-up position at the 34th Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire. Notable additions include the return of England-based defender Jamilu Collins, as well as Tyronne Ebuehi from Empoli FC in Italy and Cyriel Dessers from Glasgow Rangers. Midfielder Wilfred Ndidi, who missed the continental tournament due to injury, makes a comeback, while Nathan Tella from Bayer Leverkusen in Germany and Fisayo Dele-Bashiru, based in Turkey, have the opportunity to stake their claim for regular spots in the team.


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