Super Eagles defender Godfrey Oboabona has dismissed fears that Ivory Coast could pull out a big finish to deny Nigeria the single ticket to the Africa Nations Championship in South Africa next year.
The Eagles, who beat the Elephants 4-1 in the first leg CHAN qualifier in Kaduna on July 6, will face the Ivorians in the second leg in Abidjan on July 27.
Nigeria need to avoid defeat by more than three goals to qualify for the tournament and Oboabona, who played a key role in the Kaduna victory, says the Eagles are not worried that the Elephants could stop Nigeria from playing at the tournament for the first time.
“With God on our side we are going there for victory,” the versatile Sunshine Stars player told newsmen over the telephone during the week.
The 22-year-old, who has been picked for next month’s match against South Africa in the Nelson Mandela Challenge, praised his teammates for the emphatic win in Kaduna, calling for focus ahead of the Abidjan encounter .
Meanwhile, coach Stephen Keshi has said no antics from the Ivorians will stop his team from finishing the job in Abidjan.
Goal quoted Keshi as saying, “It’s not just Ivory Coast, it’s an Africa thing. When you play in Africa it’s very difficult, right from the dressing room they make you go crazy and on the field of play the fans, the supporters, they drive you nuts. You just have to keep your cool and focus. If we can do that and I think they can do it, then we will pull through.
“We have been talking (about the expected antics and hostilities in Abidjan) because it is going to be a character game and the mentality of every player is going to be highly tested there because they will come to intimidate them and make them go crazy and we just have to remain calm and play our game.
“As far as we can have that inner calm and focus on the game, then we should be good.”