After the disappointment of the Afcon, the national team aims for redemption against their West African brothers
Nigerian international Jamilu Collins has expressed his sadness at the Super Eagles’ early elimination from the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
Collins was a member of the Super Eagles side that fell to Tunisia’s Carthage Eagles at the Afcon 2022 Round of 16.
The 27-year-old has been Nigeria’s number one left full-back since making his debut in October 2018, aged 24 years.
Still, he only made one start in Cameroon – against Guinea-Bissau – with Porto’s Zaidu Sanusi the preferred choice for the Augustine Eguavoen-led coaching crew.
And the Germany-based defender did not make the starting eleven as Tunisia ended Nigeria’s hopes for a fourth continental triumph.
The Eagles, however, have the chance to redeem their image when they face eternal rivals Ghana over two legs in the World Cup qualifying playoffs.
Ghana have only made it to the Mundial on three different occasions – 2006, 2010, and 2014 – but the Black Stars reached the quarterfinals in South Africa.
The four-time Afcon winners failed to progress beyond the group stages at the Afcon but will fancy their chances against the Super Eagles, a team they have dominated in the head-to-head.
But Collins believes that the AFCON disappointment will fire up the team to shoot down Black Stars when they meet in March for the final round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
“Honestly, it was so sad the way we crashed out of the 2021 AFCON in Cameroon,” the Paderborn fullback told CKD Media.
“However, that is football. I strongly believe that better days are ahead for us.
“We are looking forward to the match against black stars come March and hopefully, the fans will smile again. We will approach the two legs like world cup finals.
“Every player’s dream is to play in the world cup and I am not an exception of that statement. I got my first cap after Russia 2018 and by GOD grace we will qualify for Qatar and restore the dashed hope of football-loving Nigerians.”
Collins has made 25 appearances for the Super Eagles, featuring four times at the Nations Cup, six times during World Cup qualification, six times during Afcon qualification, and in nine friendly games.