There is excitement in Lagos as the Super Eagles of Nigeria are preparing to host the Crocodiles of Lesotho for the final 2021 Africa Cup of Nation qualifiers.
The Super Eagles will be returning after 20 years away from Lagos.
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The match will take place at the Teslim Balogun Stadium on Tuesday.
As at the time of filing this report, the stadium was being cleaned up by the workers from the Lagos State Waste Management Agency while the pitch has been fitted with wooden advertising boards.
CAF picked Referees from Cape Verde, Fabricio Duarte, Jorge Correia Helio, Delgado Fernandes Jorge and Antonio Manuel Rodrigues were seen training and going through various forms of drills ahead of the game.
However, there is excitement, especially among Surulere residents who said they are eager to watch the Eagles play competitively for the first time in 20 years.
Also, an aspiring footballer, Uwakwe Dominic Munachi who plays for 2-touch football club, said he can’t wait to watch the game.
“I’m eager to see the players tomorrow. I have only seen them on TV and I am glad they are coming, hopefully I will see them live and direct,” he said enthusiastically.
Speaking with a former international, Juwon Oshaniwa, he said anywhere in the country should be home to the national team.
“Wherever they play should be home to the Super Eagles. I want to believe that won’t be a yardstick or reason not to rise to the occasion.
“We have good materials for the team as they can deliver the goods. The boys are seriously hungry to win as we can the likes of Ndidi, Iheanacho who are in top form. These players have been consistent in their club sides and you know what that means,” he said.
In the same vein, speaking with Mutiu Adepoju popularly known as ‘headmaster’, he said he is happy the Super Eagles will be playing once again in their ‘home’.
“It feels great for the Eagles to return home. To be away for 20 years is not pleasant but coming back is good news,” said.
Going down the memory lane, he said playing in Lagos comes with a lot of emotions as well as responsibility.
“The stadium is always filled up with fans who will cheer when you are winning and when you are losing, the fans will be hard on you and that will make you work harder. These boys will enjoy their time playing in Lagos,” he concluded.
According to information from the Super Eagles’ camp, the players will have a training session at the stadium by 3pm.
The last competitive game Nigeria played in Lagos was a 1-0 Nations Cup qualifying win over Zambia in January 2001, while 10 years later there was a 2-1 friendly win over Sierra Leone at the Teslim Balogun venue.