Former Nigeria captain, Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha, believes that the Super Eagles can still qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations scheduled to hold in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
Nigeria’s Super Eagles currently trail their Guinean counterparts by three points in Group B of the qualifying after the round of four games.
But Okocha, 37, is optimistic that the chances of his countrymen reaching next year’s African Mundial remain bright though with a “mathematical” dimension.
Okocha’s submission comes on the back of Nigeria’s failure to beat Ethiopia in Addis Ababa on June 5.
The Super Eagles held their Ethiopian opponents to 2-2 draw while Guinea ran over Madagascar by 4 – 1 on same day.
The former Paris St Germain and Bolton Wanderers playmaker added that the Super Eagles are now left with no option than to win their two games against Madagascar and Guinea to ensure a straight passage to the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations.
“Mathematically, the Nations Cup ticket is still in Nigeria’s hands. But we will need to beat Madagascar and at least defeat Guinea by 2 – 0. At the same time, we will need to take our chances first,” Okocha, now on the Technical Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), said.
The Super Eagles will play their Madagascar counterparts on September 4 at the Mahamasina Stadium in Antananarivo.
In the weekend of October 7 and 9 The Nigerians will play hosts to Guinea in their last game of the qualifying series at the National Stadium in Abuja.
However, the permutations are that Guinea will qualify for the finals if they defeat Ethiopia and Nigeria do not defeat Madagascar.
The Guineans could also reach the African championship with just a draw against Ethiopia if Nigeria lose to Madagascar.
But a win for Guinea and Nigeria will mean that the group will be decided when both sides meet in Abuja in October.