As Saturday’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying clash between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Pirates of Seychelles beckons in Victoria, Completesportsnigeria. com’s ADEBOYE AMOSU highlights four reasons why the Gerhot Rohr’s team need to secure maximum points in the game…
1. Victory Important After Matchday-One Home Defeat To South Africa
Against all expectations, the Super Eagles fell to a 2-0 defeat at home to the Bafana Bafana of South Africa at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo on match day one in June 2017.
It was Bafana Bafana’s first competitive victory against the Super Eagles and one which put Stuart Baxter’s men in firm control of the group along with Libya who defeated Seychelles 5-1 in the other fixture.
Anything short of a win against the Pirates in Victoria may spell doom for the team and put paid to their qualification hopes.
2. Red Alert Against Missing Out On Third Consecutive AFCON Finals
The Super Eagles conquered the continent for the third time in South Africa in 2013 but have agonisingly failed to qualify for the competition since then.
Gernot Rohr’s men’s hopes of making it to Cameroon 2019 now appear to be in danger following that defeat to South Africa at home in Uyo, and only a win against Seychelles can put them back on track.
3. Nigeria Fans Are Still Pained By Early World Cup Exit
Pitted in a tough group that had two-time winners World Cup winners Argentina, very ambitious Croatia who against all odds make it to the final and newcomers Iceland, the Super Eagles struggled at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. They won against Iceland and lost to both Croatia and Argentina.
Majority of Nigerian fans are still pained by the Super Eagles failure to make it beyond the group stage in the competition.
Not only do they need to win this crucial clash, they must put up a good performance to start wooing the fans back.
4. Draw Or Defeat In Victoria Will Put Pressure On Gerhot Rohr
The decision of the Nigeria Football Federation to stick with German coach Gernot Rohr after the team’s elimination at the group stage of the World Cup were criticised by many.
Many believed Rohr lacked the tactical savvy to lead the team going forward despite the Super Eagles impressive record under his tutelage.
Rohr came under scrutiny once again after sticking with some of the players who failed to impress at the World Cup.
Failure to win this crucial 2019 AFCON qualifying match will further put him under the spotlight for same reason.