Nigeria will be aiming to avoid elimination from the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) tournament with a victory over Equatorial Guinea at the Stade Adrar in Agadir on Tuesday evening.
The Super Eagles, who sit on top of Group C with four points from two matches heading into the match and know that a second successive win will seal their place in the knockout stages of the continental showpiece, irrespective of the result between Rwanda and Libya in Tangier.
After playing a goalless draw with the Amavubi, Nigeria followed that up with a narrow 1-0 win over 2014 Chan champions Libya. Sunday Faleye scored the only goal of the game in the 79th minute of the match.
Head coach Salisu Yusuf was satisfied with his team’s tactical discipline in the victory over Libya but was quick to highlight the importance of their impending clash against Nzalang Nacional who have nothing but pride to play for.
“Our strategy to close down their [Libya’s] space worked,” Yusuf said. “We watched their games and they’re a good possession team, good with the ball.
“Closing down the space gave us the advantage.
“We look forward to the next game with humility and discipline. We have to work hard – very hard – to beat Equatorial Guinea. It won’t be easy,” he concluded.
Equatorial Guinea have endured a tough tournament in Morocco with a 3-0 defeat to Libya followed by a 1-0 loss to Rwanda, marking the end of any hope of qualifying for the next round.
Head coach Rodolfo Bodipo, though, is not ready to throw in the towel just yet and has called on his troops to give their all against a much favoured Nigeria unit.
“We have a young team and we are doing well,” said Bodipo. “We have gained a lot of experience. Our goal was to learn from this experience. Even if we are eliminated, we will play hard against Nigeria.”