Ahead of the concluding round of matches of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, Nigeria’s Super Eagles have been urged to sustain the aggression they took to beat Central African Republic (CAR) 2-0 in the reserve fixture of their Group C qualifying campaign in Douala on Sunday.
Former Falconets’ assistant coach and assistant secretary general of the Nigeria Football Coaches Association NFCA), Mansur Abdullahi, gave the advice while reacting to the team 2-0 victory in Douala after a disappointing 1-0 defeat to the Central African country in Lagos last Thursday.
Mansur, who spoke to me said the win was secured in Douala, thanks to Rohr’s tactical formation to a 3-5-2 and aggression displayed by the players.
“The win in Doula was secured largely because the players played with aggression, and also the change in formation from Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr. The coach switched to an attacking formation which also contributed to the result in Douala.
“So, to overcome Liberia and Cape Verde in the remaining two matches, the players need to maintain the same aggression displayed against CAR, play as a team and avoid selfish games,” Mansur urged.
Leon Balogun and Victor Osimhen first half goals ensured the Super Eagles gained their pound of flesh against CAR with a 2-0 win in their 2022 World Cup qualifier, at Stade Omnisport de Bepanda in Douala, Cameroon on Sunday.
The three time African champions got a shock home defeat on Thursday when, against all odds, they fell to an embarrassing 1-0 defeat to the lowly CAR on matchday- three of the Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign.
Balogun, who was criticised for his role, along with fellow centre-back partner William Troost Ekong, in allowing Karl Namnganda’s stoppage time winner in Lagos, showed destructive instincts to sweep home the opener from a set piece just before the hour mark. The strike was Balogun’s first goal in a Super Eagles shirt since he made his debut in March 2014.
Osimhen doubled Nigeria’s lead with barely the last kick of the first half when he latched onto a pass from William Troost-Ekong and fired past goalkeeper Prince Samolah time, as Gernot Rohr’s side made amends following Thursday’s embarrassing defeat to the footballing minnows nation.
The win extended Nigeria’s lead at the top of Group C to nine points, two above Cape Verde who scored a last minute winner at home to defeat Liberia 1-0 and keep the pressure on Super Eagles for sole ticket of Group C to final round of the qualifying campaign.
The concluding round of matches (Day 5 and 6 games) are scheduled for next month, November. The Eagles will travel to Monrovia to play Liberia, while CAR will fly to Mindelo to tackle the Blue Sharks on Day 5. On the final day, Nigeria hosts Cape Verde in Lagos while Liberia flys to Douala to play CAR.