2021 AFCON: Beware Of Sierra Leone, Former Players Warn Nigerian Coach
Despite the fact that the ravaging Coronavirus has stalled all sports matters, there is indication that activities in football will start soon, with the qualifiers for the 2021 African Cup of Nations in Cameroon also featuring in the schedule, according to the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
Consequently, two former national team players of Nigeria have warned Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr, to be wary of Lone Stars of Sierra Leone, who are, on paper, the main challengers of the group pacesetters, the Super Eagles.
Nigeria currently top Group L of the qualifiers with two wins in as many games. Also in the group are Benin Republic and Lesotho. Benin are second with three points while Sierra Leone, on third spot and Lesotho on fourth are the last of the pool.
However and but for the break occasioned by the Coronavirus pandemic, Nigeria would have hosted the Leone Stars in Benin City and the duo of Henry Nwosu and Friday Ekpo, while speaking in separate chats with our correspondent, warned the technical bench of the former African champions not to underrate their West African neighbours, saying past developments should serve as the key to spur the coach and the players.
Nwosu said: “We can recall that in 2015 or thereabout, Congo came here and defeated us and that made us not to qualify.
“We cannot say because we are topping the group having won two matches, so we have to relent. I can tell you that Sierra Leone are not out and they will likely come trying to revive their qualification hope. So it is left for the coach and his boys to play them as if it will be the final,” he said.
Speaking similarly, Ekpo noted that in the game of football, nothing is certain, advising the coach to ensure that Sierra Leone went home empty.
“On paper, they are the main challengers Nigeria has and they will want to live up to that rating; so I will advise that we play our best when they come. Unfortunately Coronavirus has stopped every football activity but I know when actions resume, we have to take the game to them,” he said.
Meanwhile, an unlikely win for the Leone Stars will take them even above the Super Eagles because they would have garnered four points against Nigeria’s three points. The win would have reignited their surge for a place in next year’s foremost African football event in Cameroon.