Nigeria captain Ahmed Musa is not taking Sierra Leone for granted as both teams clash at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Stadium in Monrovia in the penultimate round of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday (today), PUNCH Sports Extra reports.
The Super Eagles sit second in Group A, one point behind Guinea-Bissau who defeated Sao Tome and Principe on Wednesday. Victory in Monrovia will hand Nigeria a third consecutive AFCON appearance while a victory for the Leone Stars will keep their hopes alive going into the final round of qualifiers in September.
The Leone Stars will be hosting Nigeria at a neutral venue after none of the stadiums in the country met the standards of the Confederation of African Football.
“Nowadays, there is no home or away (advantage) in football, you just have to put in extra work if you want to win the game,” he said when asked if the neutral ground is an advantage for Nigeria.
“Any country that wants to play the Super Eagles, they come all out to want to win us, so we know it is not going to be easy. That’s football. No matter where you play you have to do your best to win the game.
“Our boys know what is important because like the last game we played (against Sierra Leone) in Benin from 4-0 to 4-4. There is nothing surprising. It is the hard work that they (Sierra Leone) put in. So, we know about that and we know how they play over here. In the last game, we defeated them 2-1, it was not easy.
“No matter how many goals we score, you all would say it is normal, you can beat Sierra Leone but when we lose it is something else, so we have to put that in our mind that this game is not easy because we know if we win that game, we will qualify for AFCON so we do not have to take it for granted,” Musa said.
Musa was also asked how he felt about the prospect of adding more caps for Nigeria should the Super Eagles qualify for AFCON.
Musa, who is the most-capped player for the country with 108 caps says it is left for coach Jose Peseiro to decide whether he features or not.
“Yeah, for now, I don’t know if I am going to play. The coach has to decide first but the most important thing is to win that game and qualify for AFCON,” Musa said.
“So, for me playing or not playing, it is no big deal but we have to wait until that day (Sunday) to see who the coach will start.
“Everybody knows what I can do. I don’t care if I start or don’t start but the most important thing is to win. The coach has the final say, I am not the one to put myself in the game. My first call-up in the Super Eagles, I played just a few minutes and it made me where I am today, so I don’t care if I play two minutes, or five minutes, I will always give my best to win the game,” he said.