ABUJA, Nigeria - Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr says he expects a challenging Africa Cup of Nations qualifier rematch against Libya on Tuesday despite trouncing the north Africans at the weekend.
Odion Ighalo, the former Watford striker now at Chinese club Changchun Yatai, bagged a hat-trick as Nigeria thrashed Libya 4-0 in the southern town of Uyo on Saturday. They will square up again in Sfax in Tunisia, the adopted home of war-ravaged Libya.
Rohr said he expected the Libyans to provide a stiffer challenge as they seek to avenge the heavy loss. "We need a big fighting spirit to beat Libya again," he insisted. "It will be a difficult game because after losing 4-0 in Uyo they will be aggressive, they want revenge. We have to be stronger to win again. It's not finished yet. Libya were not defensive (in Uyo) and they could also have scored. They played well, they were fighting."
The Franco-German coach said the Super Eagles won because their strikers outran Libya's flat-footed defence. "Our quick strikers tried to be efficient against the slow defenders of Libya," Rohr explained. "We scored an early goal from good pressing and in the second half, they left space in their defence because they tried to score also and we had more opportunities to score."
Turkey-based Ogenyi Onazi and Shehu Abdullahi have been ruled out of Tuesday's match after picking up injuries. Onazi has an inflamed Achilles, while Abdullahi did not complete Saturday’s game due to a leg muscle injury.
Nigeria are now second in Group E with six points from three matches, a point behind leaders South Africa. Libya are third with four points, while Seychelles have yet to record any points. The top two teams in the group will advance to the finals in June 2019.