Super Eagles stars ready for Battle of Tangier
The World Cup qualifying game between Nigeria and Liberia is a must-win in the country’s quest for a seventh World Cup appearance and the players are talking tough ahead of the game scheduled for today at the Stade Ibn Batouta in Tangier, Morocco.
Forward Kelechi Iheanacho insists the team is primed to claim all three points at stake because of the hard work they have put into preparing for the game.
He said: “Personally, I’m ready for the game. As a team, we have worked very hard for this game. We are focused on the work ahead. I’m fit and ready and, collectively as a team, we are ready.”
Iheanacho also reckons that Friday’s shooting practice at the team’s training session was a good way to prepare because it could come down to how many chances are created and how many the team is able to convert from distance.
“Every game has its dynamics and we are ready for whatever they throw at us. Doing shooting practice is to convert as many shots as we can. If you don’t shoot, you don’t score so we will be aiming to shoot to score. Hopefully we’ll get the chance to shoot and get the goals that we need to win the game”, he said.
First-choice goalkeeper Maduka Okoye reckons they have done everything humanly possible and can only hope for success on the pitch.
He said: “Training has been good and we are getting ready mentally and tactically for the game. There’s a good vibe among the players and everybody is fit and ready. We have our injured players back and I’m so excited I can’t wait for Saturday.”
The 22-year old also balked at the suggestion that the Lone Stars could be easy meat for Nigeria considering their placement on the league table.
“From the first game against them, we know they’re not pushovers so we have to be focused and ready for them so we can achieve our aim, which is, first of all, to get the three points and then hopefully a clean sheet in the game.”
In his own contribution, defender Chidozie Awaziem reckons the team will aim to win and also keep a clean sheet.
He said: “Everyone is motivated and ready for the game. We now have a full house and everyone has the same objective which is to get all three points on Saturday. We hope to come out with a positive result and that’s why we are working so hard to get the three points and brighten our chances of qualifying.”
The 24-year old former Porto man will also want the team to gun for a clean sheet in the game.
“You always aim to get a clean sheet when you set out for each game but I hope we can work together to achieve that as a team. If I get to start I hope to give my best to the team, same as all the other guys”, he concluded.
The Super Eagles sit top of their qualifying group with nine points from four games, two more than second-placed Cape Verde. Central Africa Republic and Liberia are third and fourth with four and three points respectively.