By Jacob Ajom
With 10 points from four matches, the Super Eagles are in frame to become the first African side to clinch a Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup ticket, if they can stop a rejuvenated Chipolopolo of Zambia in their qualification match in Uyo on October 7. A draw in that game may not be good enough for the Nigerian team.
Many Zambians believe that the Chipolopolo, who lost 1-2 to the Eagles in the opening game of the qualifiers in Ndola last year, can spring the biggest surprise with an unlikely win over the Eagles.
One time Super Eagles defender, Yisa Sofoluwe has warned that the Zambians must not be taken lightly. “They can stop the Eagles if we fail to take them serious. They too have a very good chance of qualifying for the World Cup,” he said, adding, “but that is if we allow them.”
The former Nigeria international said Zambia’s victory over Algeria on the road underlines the quality in the team and their determination for the World Cup ticket.
Trusting in the technical prowess of Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr, Sofoluwe who spoke to our correspondent in Abeokuta during the Ogun/GTBank Principals Cup final, said, “the coach knows only the best material should be fielded because expectations among Nigerians are high.
“As for the players,they must be calm and collected whenever they find themselves in the Zambian 18-yard box, pick their spots and make use of their chances when they come.
“Only goals will count. Not the amount of possession you attain in the match. The Eagles forward line must be clinical in front of goal.”
He picked the duo of Moses Simon and Victor Moses as the two Eagles who will make the difference against Zambia. “They are very sharp and bring down any defence while feeding the forwards with inviting assists,” he said. Sofoluwe also said Ikechukwu Ezenwa who has warmed his way into the hearts of the technical crew should be given the opportunity to prove himself against Zambia. “He is young and enterprising. He needs games like this to gain more confidence. He should be given all the support he requires to succeed.”