The Gernot Rohr-led team needs to avoid defeat in one of the two remaining Afcon-qualifying matches to book their place in the next edition of the tournament in Cameroon next year
Former Paris St Germaine midfielder Austin Okocha has warned the Super Eagles to be wary of complacency when tackling the Benin Republic and Lesotho later in March.
A Victor Osimhen penalty and a brilliant Samuel Kalu solo effort helped Nigeria come from a goal down to eke out a narrow 2-1 home win over the Squirrels in November 2019.
Villarreal’s Samuel Chukwueze, Everton’s Alex Iwobi, and Osimhen were also on the scorer’s sheet when the Super Eagles handed a 4-2 defeat to the Crocodiles in Lesotho a few days after the Benin clash.
Those two victories lifted the three-time African champions to six points from six in the opening phase of the qualifying rounds. The team then needed just one more win out of their four remaining games to qualify for Cameroon 2022.
But two disappointing draws against Sierra Leone in back-to-back meetings last November left the Super Eagles needing at least a point against Benin and Lesotho to avoid the agony of missing out on the Afcon championship.
1994 Africa Cup of Nations winner Okocha has called on the Super Eagles to focus on the games at hand and not live on past glories.
“Well, no game is easy these days,” Okocha told Brila.
“We have beaten them by 4-2 in the past doesn’t mean that it will be easy this time around, we are the only ones that can make it easy for ourselves by being professional and putting in the required concentration.
“We should just stay focused and make sure that we do what we need to do to get the points that are needed.”
The Nigeria Football Federation have confirmed the dates and kickoff times for the national team’s final 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
The Super Eagles matchday five-fixture will hold in the capital of the Republic of Benin, Porto-Novo, on Saturday, March 27, with kickoff slated for 5 pm.
Nigeria’s final fixture will take place on Tuesday, March 30, in Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos, with a kickoff time of 5 pm.