Nigeria/São Tomé and Príncipe: Peseiro warns Eagles to underestimate São Tomé and Príncipe at their peril
Ahead of today’s clash with Sao Tome and Principe, Super Eagles head coach Jose Peseiro warned his players never to underestimate ‘Falcons & Patriots’ in their second game of group A of the CAN 2023 qualifiers at the Adrar stadium in Agadir, Morocco.
The ‘hosts’ were beaten 5-1 by Guinea Bissau in their group opener while the Super Eagles secured a 2-1 win over Sierra Leone in a not-too-impressive encounter at the MKO Abiola Stadium in Abuja.
But the Portuguese boss who is keen to win AFCON 2023 in his first spell with Nigeria yesterday insisted the Super Eagles must do their best to pick up the three points at stake.
“Sao Tome has good players in their team. We saw their last game, even though they lost, they didn’t play too badly. We respect them. It’s good to respect your opponent in football” , Peseiro said at a press conference in Morocco. before yesterday’s game.
“We have to be at our best to beat them. We have to show strong will and determination,” continued the former Venezuela coach recommended to Nigeria by José Mourinho.
“We don’t think about 1-0, 2-0 or 5-0, we want to win, we want to score, we want to play well and we don’t want to concede,” warned Peseiro Eagles again.
The three-time African champions enter the match without assistant skipper William Troost-Ekong and midfielder Innocent Bonke who have returned to their respective bases in England and France respectively to tend to their injuries.
Bonke was injured in the friendly match against Mexico in Dallas on May 28, while Ekong suffered a groin injury in the 2-1 loss to Sierra Leone in Abuja on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has appointed Liberian official Hassen Jinnah Corneh as referee for the match, with compatriots Joel Wonka Doe, Ephraim Grant Whengar and Moses Forkpah as assistant referee 1, assistant referee 2 and fourth official respectively.
Alim Konate Aboubakar from Cameroon will serve as match commissioner. The match starts at 1 p.m. in Morocco (2 p.m. in Nigeria).