Super Eagles midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo has said the team must beat Libya to enhance their chances of qualifying for the Cameroon 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
The Eagles, who are third in Group E with three points, host Libya, who are at the top of the table with four points, in their first leg AFCON 2019 qualifier Kaduna on October 12 before travelling to Tunisia for the return leg on October 15.
Etebo, said in Lagos recently that the Eagles must aim to beat the Mediterranean Knights in Kaduna.
The Stoke City star said, “We know that the games against Libya are the most important in our quest to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations and at this stage we are ready to ensure that we do what it takes to get the needed points from them.
“The fact that we missed the last two editions of the competition has been one of the reasons we want to qualify for next year’s edition.
“Libya are topping the group and they are not going to be an easy nut to crack for us. They will be coming to Nigeria with the mindset of getting any good result and finishing the job on their own turf but we must beat them because we need to get those three points off them.”
He added, “A draw will not help us because it gives them an advantage and adds to their lead at the top of the table. We need to take our fate into our hands and get the win when they come to Nigeria. The win will give us a chance to go to the top of the table because we don’t know how the other games will be and what the South Africa game will be like.”
The former Warri Wolves player believes that the Eagles can break down the defensive Libyans.
“I believe that the coach’s selection will help us to determine how we break them down. But I am sure that we are going to do well against them. They are a compact team because they have most of their players playing in their league and they have been together for a long time.
“They got a draw in their last match (against South Africa) because they didn’t open up but we will break them up and score goals.” he said.
The former Feirense midfielder said the pitch in Victoria affected the team’s play in their qualifier against Seychelles, which Nigeria won 3-0.
He said, “It was tough playing on the artificial pitch in Seychelles. It has been a long time and most of the other players played on an artificial pitch so that game wasn’t as easy as people thought it could be. But we are grateful that we got the three points at stake.
I have no secret than giving my 100 per cent best anytime I get onto the pitch. I will continue to do my best anytime Nigeria needs me and work towards the success of the team. Playing makes me happy and I will keep doing that.”
Etebo said his goal at Stoke was to help the club return to the English Premier League.
“The Championship is one of the toughest leagues in the world. Having played in some other leagues in Europe, I can say that the Championship is tougher than some European countries’ premier leagues. It is a battle that takes a long time to conquer but since the season just started, we remain positive that we will get promoted at the end of the season. There are still many more matches to play, so we take each game one at a time and see how it all goes,” he added.