After the stunning 1-0 home defeat in Abuja last Friday, Super Eagles will go in search of revenge against Guinea-Bissau’s Djurtus (Wild Dogs) this evening at the Estadio 24 de Setembro in Bissau.
Eagles need this win badly to reclaim the top spot of Group A and also steady their 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) campaign back on track.
It was Mama Balde’s 28th minute strike that gave the visitor a surprise Famous win at the half-packed Moshood Abiola Stadium and shot the West African nation to the top of the log.
While Eagles boast household names in attack such as Victor Osimhen, Samuel Chukwueze and Moses Simon and created numerous chances, they simply lacked the precision and patience to break down Guinea-Bissau’s resilient defence.
With Sierra Leone now on five points after posting 2-0 away win at São Tomé yesterday, the pressure is now on Nigeria to avoid defeat this evening. A win is necessary to restore Eagles pride but more importantly, it will push the team back to the top of the log with two matches to play.
“We have to be at our best against the host in this next match but it is quite unfortunate that we could not cancel that first half goal we conceded. We still have the rest of the matches in our hands,” observed Everton midfielder, Alex Iwobi just before the team’s departure for Bissau yesterday morning.
While the defeat is unlikely to affect Eagles’ ultimate qualification for the 2023 AFCON, they will nonetheless be hungry to set the record straight – with coach Jose Peseiro hoping his team enjoy better luck and finishing this evening.
“I think we played very well in the first 30 minutes but didn’t score,” observed the Portuguese tactician. “It showed that our team is better than Guinea-Bissau. I can say bad luck was part of the reason we didn’t win.
“Sometimes the best teams can lose games this way, so everything went bad for us. We deserved much more because we created chances and pushed the opponent back and could have scored five, six goals… it happens in football.”
He added, “If we put up the same performance like we did on Friday, we can beat them 3-0 at their place because one team can’t always have good luck all the time.”
Guinea-Bissau coach, Baciro Cande, meanwhile, wants his team to forget Friday’s triumph and focus on securing another positive result against their heavyweight opponents.
Super Eagles are likely to be without defender Kevin Akpoguma, who suffered a head injury in Friday’s match and was replaced by Semi Ajayi.
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