Home-based Super Eagles coach, Salisu Yusuf, is still upbeat about his side’s chances of qualifying for the next round despite playing a goalless draw with Rwanda in their opening Group C game of the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) on Monday night.
Yusuf stated during his post match interview that the result was not a setback but rather a wake up call for his side who must take their chances in subsequent games.
The Home Eagles were denied thrice by the crossbar in the first half of the draw.
“Generally, it is not a setback because we created chances and we couldn’t score but if we keep creating chances and hopefully take them, we can beat any team in this tournament,” Yusuf said.
Nigeria face Group C leaders and 2014 winners of the tournament, Libya in their next game on Friday. Libya defeated Equatorial Guinea 3-0 in the group’s other match on Monday.
The Home Eagles are in their third appearance at the tournament and have never reached the finals of the competition with a third place finish their best.
They crashed out of the group stages of the last edition in Rwanda in 2016.
Home-based Super Eagles coach, Salisu Yusuf, is expected to name his final 23-man squad for the African Nations Championship next week ahead of the team’s departure for a training tour in Rabat, Morocco on January 2nd.
The Super Eagles who won the Nigeria Professional Football League invitational tournament in Kano on Sunday, are currently in Abuja for the second phase of their preparation for the CHAN.
Yusuf named a 30-man squad for the NPFL invitational and extended a late invitation to Nasarawa United goalkeeper Suraj Ayeleso on Wednesday.
“We will be leaving for Rabat, Morocco on January 2nd for the final stage of our preparation for CHAN 2018,” a reliable camp source informed newsmen.
“Before then, the final 23-man list for the competition will be made known to the public. All things being equal, the final list will be out next week.”
The home Eagles who had a disappointing showing at the last edition of the CHAN in 2016 in Rwanda, exiting in the group stage, will face the same team (Rwanda) in their first Group C game in Tangier on January 15.
2014 champions Libya and debutants Equatorial Guinea are the other teams in the group.
The competition will run from January 13 to February 4 in Morocco.