Nigeria finds itself in a tricky situation ahead of this weekend’s second leg matches of the London 2012 Olympic Games qualifiers.
Nigeria, gold medalists at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games, must overturn a lone goal deficit against Tanzania to seal their place at the next round of the qualification series. With an impressive runners-up spot at the previous edition in Beijing in 2008, glowing in their records, Nigeria must come out of their shell to halt rising force, Tanzania’s Vijana Stars.
Nigeria’s midfielder, Obiora Nwankwo says he believes they have all it takes to beat the Tanzanians
“It a game we must win and we have known that right from when we finished the game in Tanzania,” Nwankwo said.
“The atmosphere in Benin is good for the game and we just urge the fans to get behind us for this must win game.”
Ibok Edet says he believes in the caliber of players in the team and they will win.
“We should have finished up this game in the first leg if you judge from the chances we missed in that game.
“I also believe that with the caliber of players in the team Nigerians will be smiling at the end of the day.”
The fact that the Vijana Stars eased past Cameroon, also gold winners at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games at the previous serves a headache for Nigeria coach Austin Eguavoen and his charges in their quest reach the next stage.
Ahead of Saturday’s clash in Benin City, the Nigerians have been dealt a blow with injuries to in-form striker Ahmed Musa, midfielder Rabiu Ibrahim whilst AC Milan winger, Nnamdi Oduamadi remains a major doubt after limping out of training last Monday.
Eguavoen has extended olive invitations to Warri Wolves striker Ekigho Ehiosun, Scotland-based Sone Aluko, Gani Oseni who plays in Vietnam and lanky striker Chrisantus Macauley, top striker at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2007 in South Korea.
“We understand the importance of this return leg and we are leaving nothing to chance. Nigerians believe so much in this team and we must not let them down,” Eguavoen told the local media.