The President, Nigerian Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick has called on the Super Eagles to edge closer to the AFCON ticket by defeating Libya in Saturday evening’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at the Akwa Ibom Stadium in Uyo.
“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 said.
Similarly, Coach Gernot Rohr has instructed his team to replicate what they did against African champions Cameroon in a similar situation 11 months ago when against all odds, Nigeria won the game 4-1.
“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.”
South Africa defeated Nigeria 2-0 in Uyo on the opening day of the qualifying series in June 2017, and it is a result that still rankles with the average Nigerian football fan.
Meanwhile, Group leaders Libya have now opted to fly into Nigeria on Friday, as against Thursday that was earlier announced. The delegation will arrive the Ibom International Airport, Uyo aboard a chartered aircraft on Friday morning.
Referee Jean-Jacques Ndala Ngambo, alongside compatriots Olivier Safari Kabene (Assistant Referee 1), Nabina Blaise Sebutu (Assistant Referee 2) and Malala Kabanga Yannick (Reserve Referee) – all from the Democratic Republc of Congo – have arrived in Lagos. They will fly into Uyo on Friday morning.
The match commissioner, Mr. Andy Quame from Liberia, as well as South African Dan Van Vuuren (security officer) and Malian Koman Coulibaly (referee assessor) will also arrive in Uyo on Friday.