AFCON 2023 Qualifiers: Peseiro anticipates difficult game against Sierra Leone

Super Eagles head coach Jose Peseiro said the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Sierra Leone on Sunday would be difficult in Liberia.

The Portuguese coach recalled the last three matches between the two countries, back-to-back draws in AFCON 2021 qualifiers and their recent home win in the first-leg of their AFCON 2023 which ended 2-1 in their favour.

Peseiro exerts confidence in the players he has invited for Sunday’s match at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Stadium in Monrovia but he is cautious of the threat the Leone Stars pose to his team’s qualification

“It will be a difficult game because, in the last three matches against Sierra Leone, our team had two draws and a win in Abuja last year,” the former Braga and Porto manager told Afrosport.

“Even Sierra Leone need to beat us to reach the AFCON final phase in Ivory Coast, and if we win them they are out that is what is at stake.

“No one can say what will happen, we can only see the result after 90 minutes. They are a tactical team so we have to give our maximum and best commitment, and play a collective game.”

Nigeria dropped to second in Group A after Guinea-Bissau’s 1-0 win against Sao Tome and Principe on Wednesday.

The Super Eagles have nine points after four matches while Sierra Leone are third with five points after four matches.

Peseiro further defended his decision to include four players from the Nigeria Premier Football League in his squad for this weekend game.

He said: “I invited NPFL players because they have quality, because I have seen them. I watched most of the NPFL matches this season, some I could not watch because of logistics, security and safety.

“I was around for the NPFL Playoffs and the guys I invited have quality. I always tell my team, the windows and doors of the national team are open to everybody.

“The Super Eagles shirt is not easy to get out of 200 million people, very good players across Europe and very good players at home.”

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