Super Eagles midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo believes that Tuesday’s 2019 AFCON qualifier away to Libya is one of the most important games of the series for Nigeria.
Nigeria smashed Libya 4-0 at the Nest of Champions in Uyo on Saturday but the Stoke City midfielder told www.aclsports.com he expects a stiffer challenge from the North African nation when the reverse fixture is decided in Sfax, Tunisia on Tuesday night.
“I 100% believe that the Libyans are gonna come out really tough,” began Etebo to www.aclsports.com
“The game is one of the most important ones for us. It is going to be really crucial because they’ve lost 4-0 and come on, they are not handicapped, they need to sit up and I think it’s going to be a really big one.”
Etebo started all of Nigeria’s games at last summer’s FIFA World Cup Russia but was a second half replacement for Ogenyi Onazi in last month’s AFCON qualifying victory over Seychelles. The former Under-23 star started Saturday’s game in a central midfield position and explains the coach’s choice of a double pivot in the midfield.
“They had some good players. I think their number 10, he plays for Guimaraes, they are good on counter attacks and they play very good football as you can see on Saturday.
“They played well and although they lost, they were good technically with the ball and they got some good players that can keep the ball so it is important that we needed to block our defence and close those gaps that can allow any key pass to come in.”
The former Warri Wolves midfielder admitted that Saturday’s victory was not as easy as it looked on paper but is looking forward to Tuesday’s game.
“It was a good game. It wasn’t easy though because they really came out strong in the first half but all the same we got the three points which is the most important and we are looking forward to the game on Tuesday,” added Etebo
Nigeria will be without midfielder Ogenyi Onazi and right back Abdullahi Shehu for Tuesday’s game scheduled to kick off at 7pm at the Stade Taïeb Mhiri in Sfax, Tunisia.