Nigeria’s hope of qualifying for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations tournament to be staged in Cameroon will be made clearer on Tuesday when the Super Eagles take on the Mediterranean Knights of Libya in another crucial tie.
The Eagles soared high in the reverse fixture between them and Libya; trouncing the North Africans 4-0 in Uyo.
A repeat performance or something close on Tuesday will take the Nigeria national team an inch closer to qualifying for AFCON 2019.
Nigeria’s delegation to Tuesday’s crucial 2019 qualifying match landed safely in the Tunisian city of Sfax on Monday evening.
The Max Air aircraft that took off from Uyo had a stopover in Kano to refuel. It touched down at the Sfax Airport at 4 p.m. Tunisia time (same as Nigeria) and the players and team officials immediately headed to their Zeitouna Hotel abode for a short rest before the official training session, the football federation (NFF) said in a statement.
The delegation, led by NFF 1st Vice President, Seyi Akinwunmi, also included 2nd Vice President Shehu Dikko and Executive Board members Ibrahim Gusau, Yusuf Ahmed and Emmanuel Ibah.
There were also immediate past NFF President, Aminu Maigari; a former official of the Youth and Sports Ministry, Abba Yola (also Chairman of the NFF Technical Study Group), Mainasara Illo and some members of NFF Management led by the Director of Competitions, Ayobola Oyeyode.
A couple of members of the NFF Congress, some NFF Staff, a few representatives of the media and some members of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club were also on board.
The three-time African champions, 4-0 winners of the first leg encounter in Uyo on Saturday, trained for one hour at the Stade Taïeb Mhiri ahead of Tuesday’s big clash.
The leader of delegation, Seyi Akinwunmi, repeatedly told the players as they trained that they can not afford to lose guard against the Libyans on Tuesday.
“We have come here determined to pick the three points at stake and make the road much smoother for us towards Cameroon 2019. The players did a great job in Uyo on Saturday and all they need is step up a gear here and amass another three points.
“We have confidence in the players that we have here, as well as the technical crew, and we believe they will do the job,” the re-elected NFF 1st Vice President told thenff.com
Nigeria lie second on the Group E table with six points, one less than leaders South Africa, ahead of Tuesday’s Matchday 4 battles. South Africa are also away to Seychelles in Mahe Island on Tuesday.
Match officials for the encounter in Sfax are already in town for the game starting at 7 p.m. Tunisia time (same time as Nigeria), with Botswanan official Joshua Bondo as the referee.