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AFCON 2019: Eagles set to devour Knights



AFCON 2019: Eagles set to devour Knights

●Onazi, Ighalo, Omeruo target Libya scalp


Super Eagles players are in tough mood as they take on Libya in the 2019 CAF Africa Cup of Nations Qualification Group E match in Uyo today.
Nigeria are third in Group E behind their today’s opponents who are sitting in number one position with four points which they share with South Africa who are second due to inferior goal difference Nigeria have three points.
The Gernot Rohr’s men started their Nations Cup campaign on a worst possible note after they went down to a 2-0 defeat in the hands of South Africa in Uyo last year.
Although they returned to winning ways with a 3-0 victory against Seychelles in Victoria last month, they will be keen to race to the summit of the table to enhance their chances of making it to Cameroon.
“The defeat to South Africa was so painful because we were determined to win,” midfielder Ogenyi Onazi in an interview, recalled the sad episode on June 10, 2017 at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo. “It was just a temporary setback for us because we have left that behind us. You can see in the way we reacted to that defeat by doing very well in the World Cup qualifiers and we want to continue with that. Libya are leading the group but our aim is to overtake them after the two matches, we can do it and I urge Nigerians to support us to achieve this objective”
Libya held South Africa to a goalless draw in their previous 2019 AFCON qualifier away last month.
The draw extended the Mediterranean Knights’ winless run to three matches having recorded two defeats and one draw.
The North African side will be keen to return to winning ways against a much-fancied Nigeria side.
“They are a difficult side,” Nigeria’s captain for today’s tie, Ahmed Musa, said. “It is not going to be an easy game for us but we are prepared for them. We want to take each match as they come; we are concentrating on Saturday’s match and try to win that game and they focus on the next one away from home. We are not going to disappoint our fans who always want us to win, we are ready for Libya and we are not under pressure.”
Looking at the head-to-head record between the two teams, Nigeria are clear favorites for this tie to clinch the maximum points. Nigeria and Libya have met three times, with the three games going the way of Nigeria. The Super Eagles last defeated Libya 1-0 to secure their first win of the 2018 Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) earlier in the year.
For striker Odion Ighalo, their failure to make the last two AFCON is enough motivation for them to go all out and beat their opponents.
He said it was unthinkable to miss out on the ticket to Cameroon 2019 and they have to go
“We were not at the last two Nation Cup and we desire to play in the next one. We can’t allow Libya or any other team to stop us from making it this time and every player in this team is ready to prove himself,”
he said.


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