By Emma Njoku
Nigeria-born ex-Benin Republic international, Muri Ogunbiyi has predicted that the Super Eagles will bite the dust when both sides clash in Cotonou, the country’s administrative capital.
Nigeria tops Group L of the 2022 AFCON qualifiers with eight points while Benin Republic follows closely with seven points with Sierra Leone trailing in the third place with three points, while Lesotho occupies the bottom spot. When both teams met in the first round of the group fixtures in Benin City, the Super Eagles won 2-0.
Ogunbiyi, who was a member of the Enyimba International squad that won the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) Champions League trophy back to back in 2003 and 2004, believes that the game in Cotonou would decide which finishes tops in the group.
“I think the Squirrels have really improved. For the first time, Benin Republic went far at the last edition of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON). And the team is currently occupying the second position in Group L in 2022 AFCON qualifiers with just a point behind Nigeria. With what I saw in their last match, I’ll tell the Squirrels to play with confidence when Nigeria comes to Cotonou. If Sierra Leone can come from 4-0 to draw 4-4 with the Super Eagles in Nigeria, it means that Benin Republic can beat Nigeria in Cotonou and qualify for the Nations Cup again.”
The mercurial midfielder, however, expressed concern over the Super Eagles performance against the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone in the 2022 AFCON qualifiers.
“From the results of the two matches against Sierra Leone, I think the Nigeria Football Federation should do something fast to save the situation. I’m a Beninois and at the same time a Nigerian, if the Super Eagles fail to qualify for the Nations Cup, I would feel bad. The football authorities should do something fast to strengthen the team. For Nigeria to be leading Sierra 4-0 only for the match to end 4-4 shows there’s a problem somewhere.”