Group leaders Super Eagles say they are going to play for pride in their final 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Seychelles on Friday (today) and the friendly against Egypt’s Pharaohs on Tuesday at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba.
The Nigerians have already qualified for the AFCON in Egypt after they were held 1-1 by South Africa in Johannesburg last November, but coach Gernot Rohr will unleash his best legs today, as a high margin of goals would put the Eagles in great mood for the prestige friendly against seven-time African champions Egypt.
Stand-in captain Ahmed Musa told thenff.com that pride was at stake despite the Eagles having booked their ticket to the continent’s top football showpiece.
“Yes, we have qualified already, but there is something called pride. And also, we need to be in the mood for the match against Egypt, and again take this as part of the preparation for the Cup of Nations. The Cup of Nations is less than three months away, so our preparation has already started. The bigger picture is the thing,” the Saudi Arabia-based forward said.
Also, Hapoel Beer Sheva midfielder, John Ogu, says the Eagles are focused on a win against the Pirates, who are already eliminated.
“We are here to continue the good streak we have and prepare well for the AFCON. This game is a preparatory game for us and we will be taking it serious. The team is in high spirits and we are ready to complete the qualification fixtures on a winning note, so all hands are on deck,” Ogu said.
In Mahé Island on September 8, 2018, goals from Ahmed Musa, Chidozie Awaziem and Odion Ighalo sealed a 3-0 win and kept the Eagles in the hunt for a ticket to the 2019 AFCON. Wins over Libya home and away and the draw in South Africa took Nigeria to the finals.