Gernot Rohr’s men have been lauded for their resolute display against the Blue Sharks on Tuesday evening
NFF President Amaju Pinnick has claimed the Super Eagles defeated Cape Verde because they have ‘the attitude of champions’.
The three-time African kings brightened their chances for a place in Qatar 2022 thanks to a 2-1 defeat of the Blues Sharks at Estadio Municipal Aderito Sena.
Despite conceding first, Gernot Rohr’s men secured a comeback triumph having capitalised on their hosts’ defensive blunders.
After the game, the Fifa executive committee member showered encomium on Gernot Rohr’s team for their fighting spirit, notwithstanding the absence of the UK-based players.
“That was what I call a fighting performance. That is the universally acknowledged ‘Nigerian spirit’. That is the attitude of champions,” Pinnick was quoted by NFF media.
“The pitch was not the best; the weather was not ideal, but they remained focused on the big picture and eked a win that guaranteed all the points. Six maximum points from two matches are something to celebrate.
“Against Liberia in Lagos, they played on a wet pitch because it rained and still got the job done. Against Cape Verde, they were a goal down on an artificial turf they would rather not play on, yet they took to the task with the mentality of winners and left with the spoils.
“We have not won the group yet, but we are in a good place and I see us picking the ticket to the knockout round before the final day of the group phase.
“While we would have loved to have the UK-based players on the trip, I am enamoured by the fighting spirit of those who picked shirts. They delivered with aplomb and this has certainly provided depth for the squad going forward.
“Now, we must sustain the momentum. It is important that the team is able to replicate the same strong focus, the same compact play, the same fighting spirit and the same marksmanship in the double face-off with the Central African Republic early next month.”
Meanwhile, the Super Eagles returned to Lagos aboard Air Peace airline after leaving Mindelo. Most of the foreign-based professionals depart for their respective clubs at least on Thursday morning.
Nigeria host the Central African Republic in Lagos in their next qualification fixture in October.