Cape Verde/Nigeria: No Pressure On Eagles, Cape Verde Will Fall, Says Rohr

Soccer ball.
16 November 2021

Super Eagles Head Coach, Gernot Rohr, yesterday expressed confidence that the three-time African champions will collect all three points against Cape Verde's Blue Sharks when both countries file out this evening for their last Group C 2022 World Cup qualifying game at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos.

Speaking during a media session yesterday ahead of the crunchy tie where Eagles only need a draw to progress to the final playoffs of the African series, Rohr insisted Nigeria will walk away with all three points just as they did when both teams met at the Estadio Municipal Adérito Sena on the island of Mindelo on 7th September.

"We have a job on our hands and that is to win on Tuesday. It is important to win so as to be sure of where you will be at the end of the day. We are top of the table (on 12 points) now and a win keeps us there and sends us to the final knockout round.

"I really don't think we are under any pressure. We have 12 points, two more than the opponents. They are the ones with the big pressure to come out and look for a win. Our approach for tomorrow (Tuesday) will be to win. The players are looking forward to doing that," observed the German gaffer who will be in charge of his 54th game as Nigeria's Coach.

Similarly, Captain Ahmed Musa assured Nigerians that the Super Eagles are matured, professional and ambitious enough to deal with any pressure when taking on the Blue Sharks this evening.

"The FIFA World Cup is the biggest stage for every professional football player. They all want to be there; you don't need any more motivation than that. We said after the match with Liberia in Tangier on Saturday that we will not be going for a draw against Cape Verde. Nothing has changed," stressed the forward with Turkish Fatih Karagumruk.

Although he waved off any pressure on the team due to the promise by the visitors to similarly inflict a painful defeat on the Eagles just the same way the Central African Republic did here recently, Musa insisted that there will always be pressure on professional footballers.

"There will always be all kinds of pressure when you are out there on the football field, as a professional sportsman or woman. You just must have strong fibre to cope with the pressure from everywhere, focus on getting the result and get the job done.

"Pressure is never an excuse not to put out your best; sometimes, it helps you to get beyond your level best,"

Al Shabab of Saudi Arabia forward, Odion Ighalo who missed last Thursday game with Liberia's Lone Stars is likely to start from the bench today as he's looking forward to increasing his goal in his first game since coming out of retirement.

Nigeria on 12 points need just a draw result to progress to the playoffs scheduled for March next year. The Blue Sharks need an outright victory to upset Nigeria just like Angola did in Kano in 2005 for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

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