The 46-year-old believes the Super Eagles have all it takes to reach the final play-off round with ease following Tuesday’s draw
Victor Ikpeba has thrown his weight behind Nigeria to progress from their 2022 World Cup qualifying group effortlessly.
The three-time African champions have been drawn along with Cape Verde, Central African Republic and Liberia in Group C, with the Super Eagles being the highest-ranked side.
Ikpeba, who featured for the West Africans at the 1994 and 1998 World Cups, is confident Gernot Rohr’s men will have a good qualifying outing, although he warned Cape Verde may pose a big threat to their qualification target.
“Nigeria will win all their home matches, Cape Verde can cause some problems but they cannot stand on the way of the Super Eagles,” Tidesports source.
“CAR and Liberia are not a match but Super Eagles cannot afford to underrate them. The coach is very good and Nigeria has some of the best players in the world
“They can beat any team in the world and why not win the 2022 World Cup in Qatar?”
The winner of the group is guaranteed a place in the final play-off round, where the five teams to represent the African continent will be decided.
Meanwhile, former Nigeria international Yisa Sofoluwe has warned the Super Eagles to be wary of Cape Verde when hostilities begin in the second round phase of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The Super Eagles were drawn in a seemingly easy second round Group C that houses Cape Verde, Central African Republic and Liberia during the 2022 World Cup qualifying draw held in Cairo on Tuesday but Sofoluwe who earned 40 international caps during his heyday with the national team has called for caution.
He disclosed that there were no small teams again in football and that with only the group leaders making it to the final round of the qualifiers, Cape Verde who played at the quarter final stage in their debut appearance at the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa in 2013 as well as President George Weah’s Liberia could pose great threats to the Super Eagles ambition of qualifying.
“We are in a group that we should easily qualify from but knowing the unpredictability of football, I want to appeal to the Super Eagles to take every game seriously,” said Sofoluwe who scored a goal in his impressive career with the Super Eagles.”
“We must prepare very well and respect our opponents if we are to qualify. Cape Verde, Central African Republic and Liberia are not in Nigeria’s class but they can shock us if we underrate them.
“Cape Verde surprised many at the AFCON (South Africa 2013) where they got to the quarter final before get narrowly lost out (to Ghana). We cannot joke with a nation like that,” warned Sofoluwe who was nicknamed the ‘Dean of Defence’ during his days with the Super Eagles.
Sofoluwe, who appeared at two AFCON in 1984 and 1988 during his glittering football career but now a coach still tipped the Eagles to pick the ticket ahead of their Group C rivals but noted that Nigeria must do the right thing for that to be possible.
Enyimba, Families Pay N2.5m To Release Ojo, Iluyomade
Sunshine Stars Captain, Abe Sunday, has disclosed that a sum of N2.5m was paid to the kidnappers before the duo, Dayo Ojo of Eyimba FC and Benjamin Iluyomade of Abia Comets were released.
Dayo Ojo and Benjamin Iluyomade were abducted last Sunday along the Benin-Owo expressway as they journeyed to Akure following the suspension of the Nigeria Professional Football League amid concerns over the global pandemic, Covid 19, but were later released four days later.
Abe, who played with both players at Sunshine Stars told journalists in Akure that the money was delivered to the kidnappers after serious negotiation.
The Sunshine captain said the decision of the kidnappers to meet with them and collect the money proved they have backing of high ranked citizens.
“They called us around after 4pm last Wednesday that we should come with the money, at times they asked me to send them recharge card. We tried to speak with them on the financial state of the country.
“We negotiated from N100m to N20m before they finally agreed on N2.5 million. Those people have back up in the Army and the Police. They never asked us to drop the money inside the bush, they met with us one on one.
“They asked me to bring the money before they released them, so I don’t know where police rescued them because I don’t like ‘fake news’ we reached Akure around 1am last Thursday.
“But the most important thing is that both of them are alive and are back with their families,” he said.
Plateau United Keeper Donates Cash To Fans
Plateau United goalkeeper, Chinedu Anozie has donated the sum of Twenty thousand naira (N20,000) to his fans to help in this difficult time.
The young goalkeeper gave out the sum of five thousand naira each to four followers to help them get something to eat amid the lockdown in Nigeria due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The ex-Abia Warriors and FC Ifeanyi Ubah has now joined Odion Ighalo and other celebrities who have helped their social media followers in this difficult time.
Anozie is enjoying a good season with Plateau United in the 2019/2020 Nigeria professional football league season and has helped them to the top of the table.
Anozie has kept ten clean sheets in the league this season, most by any goalkeepers in the league.
George Buried Amid Tears In Lagos
Rangers International of Enugu forward Ifeanyi George was finally buried last Saturday.
The remains of the late attacker were to rest at the Atan cemetery in Yaba, Lagos State, with few family and friends, present due to the global pandemic.
It would be recalled that the 26 years old lost his life after he was involved in a fatal accident while on his way to Lagos last week Sunday.
The accident occurred in Delta State and two other players in the vehicle also died along with him.
Ifeanyi George won the Nigerian professional football league title with Enyimba International of Aba and also part of the Rangers team that came back from three goals down to beat Kano Pillars in an epic Nigeria ‘s Federation cup back in 2017.
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