Former Super Eagles defender, Ifeanyi Udeze has opined that the zeal of being able to make it to the Olympic Games once again for Nigeria should be a huge motivating factor guiding the under-23 squad against Sudan in Tuesday’s second leg game of the final qualifiers for this year’s African championship, which will serve as the continent’s route of representatives to Tokyo 2020, megasportsarena.com reports.
The Olympic Eagles enter Tuesday’s game trailing 1-0 from the first leg last week in Omdurman, but Udeze, who starred for Nigeria at the 2002 World Cup in Korea/Japan, reckoned that the Nigerian players know that they would be creating another piece of history for the country by taking their visitors to the cleaners at Stephen Keshi Stadium.
Indeed, Nigeria has a very rich pedigree in Olympic Games’ soccer ghistory, with a gold medal from Atlanta ’96 in United States of America, silver from Beijing 2008 in China and bronze from Rio 2016 in Brazil, such that making it to Tokyo 2020 would be a continuum of sorts.
However, the present squad need to get back into the mainframe of the African U-23 Cup of Nations, of which they won the second edition last time out, and the only way to get that done is by beating Sudan by at least a two goal margin on Tuesday.
In his preview of Tuesday’s match, Udeze stated on Brila FM that he believes it will be a winning outing for Nigeria, as he reckoned that Imama Amapakabo’s boys know what is at stake, for the country and their careers, such that the zeal to succeed will lead them all out to beat Sudan.
Udeze opined: “Our players know what is at stake. They want to go to the Olympics. Sudan also want to go, but I believe we want it more. We are also playing at home and, despite losing the first leg 1-0, we have the chance to make it from the second leg in Asaba.”