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Published On: Tue, Nov 18th, 2014

Akpan ruled out of South Africa tie

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Nigeria will be without midfielder Hope Akpan when they take on South Africa in Wednesday’s must-win 2015 Africa Cup of Nations final qualifying game in Uyo. The Reading midfielder would be a big absentee on Wednesday due to the injury he copped in Pointe-Noire against Congo

Akpan pulled his shoulder during Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Congo in Pointe-Noire. The England-based player was caught during routine clearance of a free kick and was stretched off in the 51st minute to be replaced by Sone Aluko, moments before Ikechukwu Uche scored the Super Eagles’ first goal via a penalty.

Media officer Ben Alaiya confirmed that the player will not be part of the team that will take on Bafana Bafana in Uyo on Wednesday. Despite this setback, Alaiya said that the spirit in the national team’s camp is very high following their win in Pointe-Noire.

Bafana have already qualified for Equatorial Guinea 2015 but would be buoyed by the fact that they have never defeated the reigning African champions in a competitive encounter.

The reverse fixture in September ended in a goalless draw in Cape Town. “We have a better player base than they have,” said Alaiya, optimistic of victory in Wednesday’s game. “We are in a better frame of mind that when we played against them in Cape Town. We expect a better result in Uyo.”


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