Football enthusiasts have expressed optimism that the Super Eagles of Nigeria would triumph over their Saudi Arabian counterparts, the Green Falcons in the upcoming friendly match in Portimão, Portugal on Oct.13.
The respondents who spoke Today in Abuja, said that the outcome of the match would go a long way to inspire the eagles ahead of the AFCON.
Bumi Haruna, former Under 17 national football Assistant Coach, said that the game was important for the Super Eagles, as it would boost their confidence.
“The game will also give them a chance to probably get increased point on the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) rankings.
“Eagles will produce a chronicle triumph against Saudi Arabia and Mozambique. It’s a game that is going to encompass lot of things.
“Don’t forget, if the Eagles lose this game, It could have a negative effects on them,” he said.
He, however, advised the Head Coach of the Eagles, Jose Peseiro to take advantage of the match to work harder to bring positive result as he did in previous matches.
“This with a view to putting the Super Eagles ahead of others during the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying series.
“He also needs to focus on the upcoming qualification for the world cup and also not forget the AFCON in January 2024,” he said.
Haruna Ilerika, Assistant Coach of the Under 17 national football team, said that mentality of the Saudi team have changed, since they beat Argentina 2-1 in the last World Cup in Qatar.
According to him, Saudi Arabia’s defeat of Argentina at the Mundial was an upset nobody in global soccer foresaw coming.
He said that it was a defeat that will ever be remembered as one of the greatest shock in the tournament’s 92 year history.
“For the Eagles going to confront Saudi Arabia and Mozambique team, it will help us as a nation to access the level of readiness of our boys for the nation’s cup qualifiers.
“It will also serve as an opportunity for our coach to be able to access the qualities imbedded in our players.
“So international friendlies are meant to help nations to strengthen their teams as playing consistently will help the coach to identify the quality of the players,” he said.
Kazeem Amsad, a football scouting coach, said that the game would afford the coach the opportunity to select his best players ahead of the AFCON.
“The Super Eagles coach will not like to be embarrassed neither would he want to share in the Argentine experience in the group stage at the World Cup.
“My advice to the players is for them to put in their best and not take the game for granted as their performance would determine their invitation for other competitions.
Chioma offor, a business woman urged the Super Eagles to take the match serious as it will go a long way to shape them for bigger games ahead.
This will be the second meeting between the two countries at the senior level.
The Super Eagles will also take on the Mambas of Mozambique on Oct. 16, also in Portugal in friendly.
This is barely a month before the Super Eagles will host Lesotho in a 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier in Uyo on Nov. 17.
The the Eagles will play their second match of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers away to Zimbabwe on Nov.2.
Nigeria is among the 24 countries that had sealed qualification to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cote D’Ivoire, from Jan. 13 to Feb. 11, 2024.