Nigeria Super Eagles Captain, Mikel John Obi said that a united and focused Super Eagles, and a supportive Nigeria Football Federation, will guarantee the two time African champions a place at the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals.
Mikel said that team solidarity and the maturity of the technical crew have forged a new spirit in camp and that the victory over Zambia at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium on Sunday has propelled the Super Eagles to the top of the so called ‘Group of Death’.
“I have belief that we can reach new heights with this team. The boys are so committed that it makes you happy. The coaching crew is made up of very matured and brilliant people who respect the players. We are onto a good thing.”
Nigeria won a competitive away game for the first time in 23 months as Alex Iwobi and Kelechi Iheanacho scored before Collins Mbesuma pulled one back in the Zambian Copperbelt capital.
Manchester City of England prodigy Iheanacho has now scored in each of his last four matches for Nigeria: against Mali in France; Luxembourg
“We have a very good chance to qualify for the World Cup if we keep our heads and play at our best level. Each and every one of us is determined to go to the World Cup. Now that we are top of the table, we have to remain there.”
The Zambians had hoped to get Nigeria’s Europe based contingent rendered weak and dehydrated with an early afternoon start (2.30pm), but the Eagles approached the match in a matured manner, not engaging in too much running in the first half-hour, and then taking their chances without blinking.
It was the first time Nigeria would win a World Cup qualifying match away from home since defeating Ethiopia’s Walya Antelopes 2-1 in Addis Ababa in October 2013.
The Super Eagles’ next game is against the Fennecs of Algeria, at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo on Saturday, 12th November.