A former Nigerian international, Garba Lawal, has said Thursday’s second Group A match against hosts Cote d’Ivoire is a golden opportunity for the Super Eagles to atone for the opening day 1-1 draw with the less illustrious National Thunder of Equatorial Guinea at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cote d’ Ivoire.
While the three-time African champions only managed to force their opponents to a draw, the Elephants of Cote d’ Ivoire were imperious in their opening group match against Guinea Bissau which they won 2-0 to sail to the top of the table.
The draw left the Super Eagles joint second with Equatorial Guinea who will take on Guinea Bissau in the group match to be played before the highly anticipated clash of the former AFCON winners.
Anything less than a draw will definitely spell doom for the Coach Jose Peseiro led Super Eagles who exited the last edition in Cameroon at the Round of 16 after they suffered a slim 0-1 loss in the hands of the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia.
Speaking to Daily Trust ahead of tomorrow’s match, the former Super Eagles utility player said the squad of 2024 is left with no option than to get a result that will keep them in the competition.
He said even as it is going to be a very difficult match, if the Super Eagles will play with the required confidence, they would get a decent result against their opponents.
“The Super Eagles must move on from that game against Equatorial Guinea. If they are to forge ahead, they must not lose against Cote d’Ivoire. But it is going to be a very difficult match.
“To either win or draw the match, the Eagles must believe in themselves and play with confidence. If they are confident enough, they will overcome the Ivorian hurdle,” said the Olympics champion.
Lawal, therefore, said the Super Eagles stand a good chance against Cote d’ Ivoire but they need a bit of luck to be able to convert the chances that will come their way.
According to him, ill-luck contributed substantially to the slip against Equatorial Guinea on Sunday.
“They played out their hearts but were unlucky to miss the goal scoring opportunities that came their way. I pray they will be lucky against the Elephants in the crucial match,” said Lawal.