Napoli striker Victor Osimhen has said the Nigerian Super Eagles are confident of qualifying for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.
The Super Eagles welcome Guinea Bissau later Friday in Nigeria’s capital Abuja with the return leg next week in Guinea Bissau.
Nigeria will qualify for the delayed Africa Cup on the back of a home win against the Wild Dogs of Guinea Bissau.
“We’re looking forward to the game on Friday. The boys are ready, we’re in high spirits and we will give everything,” said Osimhen, who is the leading scorer in Serie A with 21 goals so far.
“We hope to win and get qualification to the next AFCON (Africa Cup of Nations).”
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Nigeria lead Group A with six points after two rounds of matches and victory against second-placed Guinea Bissau in Abuja will take them to nine points, which is a tally both Sierra Leone and Sao Tome can no longer reach.
Sierra Leone are currently on two points and even if they won their final two matches, will end up with only eight points.
Sao Tome, on the other hand, have a point and even they win their last two qualifiers, one of which is in Nigeria against the Eagles, they will only manage seven points.
A Nigerian victory Friday will also narrow the battle to who wins the group between the Super Eagles and Guinea Bissau.
Guinea Bissau have four points, two points behind leaders Nigeria, who with a win will increase their lead to five points.
The top two teams in each group will qualify for the next Africa Cup, which will be staged in the Ivory Coast in January 2024.
“I want to contribute with a lot of goals and couple of assists,” Osimhen said. “We don’t underrate Guinea Bissau and we will give them their due respect.”
The Super Eagles beat Guinea Bissau 2-0 in a first-ever meeting at the delayed 2021 Africa Cup in Cameroon.
Friday’s match against Guinea Bissau will be the first time the Eagles have played at the MKO Abiola National Stadium in Abuja since they failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in March 2022 at the same venue.
Perennial arch-rivals Ghana held Nigeria to a 1-1 draw to advance to the 2022 World Cup.
Osimhen said they want to make up for that disaster nine months ago.
“We may have let the country down in the past, but we will do everything to win back the support of the fans,” he said.
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