Nigeria/Cape Verde: Nigeria Vs Cape Verde - Eagles Should Look to Ronaldo's Portugal for Inspiration

15 November 2021

<i>The Eagles need just a point to progress, but the team must have the mindset to win to be on the safer side.</sub>

On Sunday, Portugal started ahead of their opponents, Serbia, and needed only a draw in the race for a ticket to Qatar 2022.

However, despite scoring first in the second minute, Portugal lost 2-1 at home to crash into the playoffs.

This is just one example as history is replete with teams who need just a point for progress in qualifiers and tournaments but fall at that hurdle because of a relaxed posture and not enough intensity from the team needing just a draw.

Tuesday's clash between Nigeria and Cape Verde is based on the assumption [and rightly so] that the Super Eagles need just a point as they lead Group C with 12 points while their opponents, the Blue Sharks have 10 and need to win to progress to the last round of CAF 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

This is the first time-especially in Gernot Rohr's reign as <a target="_blank" href="https://web.facebook.com/ngsupereagles/">Super Eagles</a> gaffer that the Eagles have not qualified for the next round with a game to spare. That will bring its own pressure as the Eagles look at their last home clash-the loss to the Central African Republic. That result is what has made Tuesday's match a must-not-lose encounter.

Based on the way the qualifiers have panned out, the Eagles have scored in four of their five previous matches and conceded in two. They have scored eight goals and conceded two. Cape Verde have scored in all of their five qualifiers but have kept just one clean sheet in the qualifiers.

In a post-match interview after the 2-0 win over Liberia in Morocco, Rohr revealed that the pressure not to lose is a good one as it will keep his players on their toes.

"Yeah, of course, we have to make a result not to lose the final game. But we are at home. It's good to have pressure for my players."

"If they believe it's easy if they believe it's done, it's always difficult. So it's good to play with pressure. So we will be able to honour this situation to handle it like we did all the time."

The Eagles captain, Ahmed Musa added, "No one is thinking of a draw. It is a must-win match, as far as we are concerned.

Musa, who scored his 15th goal for the Eagles in the 2-0 victory over Liberia on Saturday, added: "The mindset is to win and reach the final round of the World Cup series without any story."

The match is slated for the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos, and the kickoff is 5 p.m.

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