Super Eagles Franco-German Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, has so much to prove this evening as his wards take on Libya’s Mediterranean Knights at the Stade Taïeb Mhiri in Sfax, Tunisia beginning at 7:00pm Nigerian time.
Last Saturday at the Nest of Champions in Uyo, Eagles took the Libyans to the cleaners, firing four un-replied goals into their net to put Nigeria’s qualification for the AFCON 2019 in Cameroon back on track. Although the team appeared not convincing at the start, most especially with the many missed opportunities that characterised the early part of the game. Odion Ighalo, former Watford forward now plying his trade in the Chinese Super League with Changchun Yatai made the difference, grabbing a hat trick with Samuel Kalu adding another late one to help move up Nigeria to second spot in Group E – a point behind leaders South Africa.
A win in Sfax this evening will not only guarantee smooth passage to the AFCON 2019 for the three-time champions but would have also wiped away the tears of missing the last two editions of the African top competition.
On arrival in Sfax straight from Uyo yesterday, Eagles stormed the main-bowl of the Stade Taïeb Mhiri to have a feel of the turf where they are hopping to complete the job they started in the Akwa Ibom capital.
Stand-in Captain, Ahmed Musa, reiterated the resolve of the Super Eagles not to leave the North African city without bagging all the three points at stake. “We are here for the maximum points. Nigerians will not settle for anything less,” observed the Saudi Arabia based winger.
The Max Air aircraft that took off from Uyo only had a stop-over in Kano to refuel before touching down at the Sfax Airport at 4pm Tunisia time (same as Nigeria).
The players and team officials immediately headed to their Zeitouna Hotel abode for a short rest before the official training session.
Leader of delegation Seyi Akinwunmi drummed in the players’ ears as they trained the expectations back home.
“We have come here determined to pick the three points at stake and make the road much smoother for us towards Cameroon 2019. The players did a great job in Uyo on Saturday and all they need is step up a gear here and amass another three points.
“We have confidence in the players that we have here, as well as the technical crew, and we believe they will do the job.”
Nigeria lie second on the Group E table with six points, one less than leaders South Africa, ahead of today’s Match-day 4 battles. South Africa is also away, to Seychelles in Mahe Island this evening.
Match officials for the encounter in Sfax are already in town for the game with Botswanan official Joshua Bondo as the referee.
Malawi vs Cameroon
Madagascar vs E’Guinea
Comoros vs Morocco
Sudan vs Senegal
Namibia vs Mozambique
Botswana vs B’Faso
Zimbabwe vs RD Congo
C. Afri, Rep Vs Cote d’Ivoire
Burundi vs Mali
Rwanda vs Guinea
Benin vs Algeria
Niger vs Tunisia
Gambia vs Togo
Tanzania vs Cape Verde
Seychelles vs S’Africa