Super Eagles coach Sunday Oliseh is very confident that his players will take on Swaziland on Tuesday after their lacklustre outing in the southern African country on Friday.
The three-time African champions returned home after a goalless draw despite being pre-match favourites against hosts, who were ranked 134th in the last FIFA rankings. The players have been criticised for the level of their performance by fans who expected at least a win given their world ratings.
On Monday Oliseh said, “It was a game that we went all out to win. Unfortunately, we didn’t get that but we thank God that at least we have made everything open for ourselves to just win on Tuesday and qualify. We want to qualify and we will be going all out to win. So far, I have been impressed with the boys and the intensity of training.
“Hopefully, we will get the win that we will be pushing for on Tuesday.”
Swaziland coach Harris Bulunga had on Sunday told the Nigeria Football Federation official website that he would play an attacking game in Port Harcourt as against the mostly defensive style his team adopted back home.
“Yes, of course we were playing at home, the first half we wanted to see how they came to meet us but we discovered that they were not that aggressive.
“It is not about them in their home because a score draw can put us through,” he said.
And for the Tuesday (today) World Cup qualifier, the Rivers State Government has promised the Eagles $20,000 for each goal scored. The pledge was made on Monday when the state governor, Nyesom Wike, visited the team during their training at the Adokiye Amasiemaka Stadium. He then urged them to score as many goals as possible. He was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Kenneth Kobani
Wike, who assured the Eagles of his administration’s support, described Port Harcourt as a victory ground for national teams. He also promised that the team would be hosted to a victory reception by the state after the match.
In his remarks, Eagles captain, Ahmed Musa, promised Nigerians that the team would qualify for the group stage of the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier.
The teams will go into penalty shootout should the game end in a goalless draw as a winner must emerge. A score draw will automatically put Swaziland through the next stage.