Nigeria’s chance of qualifying for the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) finals will be put to a serious test this weekend as home-based Super Eagles host the Squirrels of Benin Republic in a decisive return leg qualifying cracker at the Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano.
The home-based Eagles tutored by Salisu Yusuf will go into this encounter from a disadvantaged position, having lost the first leg encounter 0 -1 at Stade du L’amitie, Cotonou, on August 13, and will need an outright win of at least two goals difference to qualify for the finals in Kenya.
Playing in front of the ever ferocious Kano fans, Home Eagles are favoured to flyover the Squirrels who had to wait until 88th minute penalty to stun the Eagles at their backyard in Cotonou.
However, the visitors are not coming for a tea party and watch the Eagles stroll over them. With the victory in Cotonou their confidence has gone up as they would want to do more to prove that the performance in the first leg was not a fluke after all.
Despite the difficult task facing the home-based Eagles, coach Salisu is very confident that the Squirrels will be beaten convincingly in Kano to see the Eagles fly to Kenya.
“For sure, we’re disappointed with the outcome of first leg. We did well but they got their goal late in the game due to a little defensive blunder that gifted them a penalty. We’ve learnt our lessons and have made corrections.
“Playing in Kano is going to be interesting. The Benin Republic team is a good side and we won’t take them for granted. We have prepared hard and ready for the encounter. With the players we have and spirit in the team, I’m confident of victory,” he said.