It is a day to D-day and everybody involved is talking big. The Eagles say it will be fight to finish, just as their opponents, Libya believe they can run away with victory in Uyo tomorrow.The time is here and whatever anybody has will be on display tomorrow. Enough of the rhetoric.
Yesterday, Super Eagles’ Manager, Gernot Rohr talked about the importance of the game to Nigeria and his decision to field the strongest possible team against Libya. Rohr knows that anything short of victory will spell doom for Nigeria’s quest to be in their first Nations Cup and of course his position as the country’s coach would become untenable.
And so he has instructed his charges to dig deep into their reserves and replicate what they did against African champions Cameroun in a similar situation 11 months ago.In that game at the same Godswill Akpabio Stadium, the Super Eagles went goalswire, spanking the African champions 4-0. The return leg ended 1-1 in Yaoundé.
Libya leads Group E with four points, while Nigeria is third on three points. South Africa also has four points, but they trail Libya by goals difference.
A win for Nigeria will push them to six points and possible second spot as South Africa are expected to beat Seychelles in the second game of the group to be on seven points.
“I believe we have the players here to earn a decent result and then go and give their all in Libya for another credible outcome. We need the points now; we cannot pretend about that. If we pick the points in these two games, we will be very close to the AFCON ticket.
“It was good winning in Seychelles the way we did. We got the result we needed and it should serve as a good motivation to continue winning when we play Libya,” Rohr told thenff.com. Yesterday, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Melvin Pinnick, who is also the President of the CAF Organizing Committee for AFCON, called on the Eagles to give joy to the country’s teeming football lovers by pocketing all the three points on Saturday.
“It is important that we win in Uyo on Saturday in order to fly with the same momentum to Tunisia for the return leg. Victory in Seychelles last month has restored our campaign and we must capitalize on the good feeling to get close to a ticket. Victory in the two matches will not only take us closer to 2019 AFCON ticket, it will provide us with the verve we need to go and win in South Africa in November,” he told thenff.com.
Thenff.com disclosed yesterday that Libya will now fly into Nigeria today instead of the earlier announced yesterday. “The delegation will arrive the Ibom International Airport, Uyo aboard a chartered aircraft on Friday morning,” it added.