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Eagles target early goals against ‘boastful’ Leone Stars


• Osimhen to lead attack
• We’ll shock Nigeria, Sierra Leone vow

All eyes will be on Napoli of Italy star, Victor Osimhen, this afternoon as he leads Super Eagles’ attack against the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone in Match Day 3 AFCON qualifier at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City. The Nigerians say they want to score early goals to unsettle the visitors.

But coach Gernot Rohr and his players must get their acts right, as the Sierra Leoneans have boasted that they will cause a major upset by snatching the three points at stake this afternoon.

Osimhen, who has bagged in some crucial goals for Napoli in the Italia serial A, has been hailed as the new goal king of Nigerian football. His arrival in Benin City three days ago has added to fans’ expectations that the Eagles will fly higher in today’s game.


After their training yesterday, Osimhen declared that the team would make Nigeria proud. “We are ready for the match, and we desire nothing but victory.”

Osimhen scored 10 goals in nine games in his days with the Golden Eaglets, and also netted a hat-trick for Nigeria’s U-23 in qualifying for the 2019 AFCON tournament.

The former Lille of France top striker admits that victory against the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone this afternoon might not be easy, but added: “We will give our all.”

He is unhappy that fans will not be allowed into the Samuel Ogbemudia stadium to cheer them in today’s match.

“They (fans) should watch and support us from home. We are working together as a team. The team’s victory is my overall desire. I am very happy with the support from football fans in Benin. We will make them proud.”

The Guardian learnt yesterday that Coach Gernot Rohr spent some time working on physical and mental alertness of the players.

Meanwhile, players and officials of Leone Stars are beaming with confidence, boasting they will pick the three maximum points at stake at the expense of the Super Eagles.

At their Lushville Hotel in Benin City, the Sierra Leoneans tell everyone they come across that they are in Nigeria to win.

The Leone Stars have lost one and drawn one in their first two matches of the qualification series. Coach John Keister and the players say they will make life difficult for the Super Eagles at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium today to revive their hope of making it to the party in Cameroun next year.

The Leone Stars have not beaten the Super Eagles since their victory against Nigeria in a FIFA World Cup qualifying match in Freetown 19 years ago.


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