The Super Eagles have been tasked by the Nigeria Football Federation president, Amaju Pinnick, to make sure they beat the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone on Tuesday after they squandered a 4-0 lead on Friday at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City.
In a video making the rounds, Pinnick is seen speaking to the players in the dressing room after the 4-4 draw with Sierra Leone – a match that if the Eagles had won would have guaranteed Nations Cup qualification.
“The beauty about falling down is that you are resurgent enough to bounce back. Bounce back in a grand style because what you’ve done to them [Sierra Leone] is you’ve given them confidence. Nigeria is beatable – Nigeria is this; Nigeria is that! I am sure Yobo [assistant Eagles coach and former national team defender and captain] will have been saying, ‘If only I could get into the field as a defender to defend this last game – the same thing, me.”
Some pictures were released before Friday’s encounter that showed Pinnick and the Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Sunday Dare, training with the Eagles.
Pinnick continued, “Talking very seriously, we must re-engineer this team. We must go to Freetown and we must beat them by those four goals. That they will know that truly the Eagles have landed.”
The NFF president insinuated there was no basis for comparing the [average] Sierra Leonean players with the players in the Super Eagles team, who play for some of the biggest teams in the world.
“We must redouble our efforts and go to Freetown and win that game. By 4-0, not three. I know why – it is very symbolic for us to win by 4-0, so that they will know that what happened in Nigeria was a fluke.”
The Eagles, with the point gained on Friday lead Group L with seven points from three matches, followed closely by Benin, who have garnered six points, also from three matches.
Nigeria’s next two matches are away to Sierra Leone on November 17; and to Benin on March 22, 2021. Their last match is at home to Lesotho on March 29, 2021.