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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

World Cup Playoff: Eguavoen Says Nigeria Not Under Pressure, Amuneke Calls For Caution

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Super Eagles of Nigeria head coach Augustine Eguavoen says his side is not under pressure ahead of a winner-takes-all 2022 FIFA World Cup playoff against rivals Ghana on Tuesday.

The stakes are high for the two nations as they lock horns at the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja in the return fixture of the playoff.

The two teams played out a 0-0 draw at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi last Friday.

Nigeria are touted as favourites to secure qualification but will have to do that at the expense of a resolute Ghanaian side.

Read Also: Nigeria Battle Ghana In Make or Break 2022 FIFA World Cup Playoff Cracker

However, Coach Augustine Eguavoen insists there is no pressure on his players and backroom staff.

“Our expectations as Nigeria are high, that is something I know all too well. But I am not under pressure because all of us have a responsibility regarding this match.

“And that is why I will urge all football lovers, fans, supporters clubs to come out in their numbers to support the Super Eagles on Tuesday.

“At the end of the day, everyone will be happy. We should all keep the support high, and we pray that at the end of the day everybody will be happy.

“Our game will count on Tuesday, and we will make Nigerians proud,” Eguavoen said.

Also, Super Eagles assistant coach Emmanuel Amuneke is urging caution and respect against Ghana ahead of the crucial 2022 World Cup playoff on Tuesday.

There is little to separate the two nations as they lock horns at the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja.

“The important thing is to have cohesion, knowing when to attack and when to defend without losing the structure of the team.

“Just like us, the Ghanaians also want to go to the World Cup, and just like our players, Ghanaian players also play in Europe. So they are aware from a tactical, technical, individual and team point of view, so we must have that respect for them.

“That means we have to stay focused and work hard. I believe that if we do our jobs, then we can win the game, but we cannot be complacent.”

Ghana had more possession and chances but proved sloppy in their finishing during the first leg in Kumasi.

Only twice did they test goalkeeper Francis Uzoho, who made a stop from a stinging shot by Issahaku Fatawu in the 33rd minute and then again in the 71st minute from Mohammed Kudus.

The winner of the match will qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

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