By Tosin Omojola
Nigeria’s home-based Super Eagles have everything to play for later today when they square up with Mozambique in their second group game at the ongoing third African Nations Championship (CHAN) holding in South Africa.
The Stephen Keshi-tutored lads must avoid defeat to keep alive the hope of scaling through the preliminary stage of the championship as a contrary result would see the team exit the championship having lost its opening match to Mali.
The 1-2 defeat suffered in the hands of the Malian puts the Nigerian side in a tight corner hence the need to go for the maximum points against the Mozambicans who are also in the same position with the Eagles.
Mozambique also lost its first game 1-3 to host South Africa and must therefore squeeze out victory over Nigeria in today’s game to get back into contention for a quarter final ticket from Group A.
After the defeat to Mali, Super Eagles coach and other officials, including team’s psychologist Robinson Okosun, have been engaging in talks with the boys in addition to the normal training all in the bid to put them in the right frame of mind for the remaining matches in the preliminary.
Keshi had attributed the loss to Mali to the long time break of the Nigerian league, which had not allowed the players to be competitively involved in games, just as he said playing at the big stage for the first time took its toll on most of the players.
He has, however, assured of a change in the team’s performance against Mozambique today, promising that the three points would be secured at the end of the 90 minutes.
In the group’s other game, host South Africa and Mali would be in for a supremacy war with the winner looking good for a place in the quarter final as both sides go into this game with three points each.