Olympic Eagles captain Azubuike Okechukwu, as well as Kelechi Nwakali and Samuel
Nigeria, the 1996 Olympic champions, on Wednesday surprising lost 2-0 to Libya in Tunisia but ahead of the second leg in Asaba on Monday, the star players in the team are optimistic of overturning the deficit.
“I think we have to play more compact,” Okechukwu said ahead of the second leg. “We have to concentrate because that was our problem (in the first leg).
“And then we have to attack more, create more chances, then we will win the game.
“We are doing our best; hopefully we will do better (on Monday).”
For Villarreal winger Chukwueze, he promised to give his best to ensure victory for the team against Libya.
“For sure, if we keep on working hard like this I know we can win the game,” the 19-year-old said after the team’s training on Saturday. “And I believe in the team. We have everything. We don’t have any excuse to give to Nigerians, but I believe we can do it.
“In this game on Monday, I’m going to give everything I have for my country. I don’t have any excuse to give them. So, I’m going to do my best.”
Meanwhile, former Golden Eaglets and Flying Eagles captain Nwakali said the team will take the match serious with the aim of qualifying for the next round.
“It’s not a do-or-die affair, but at the same time, we will work as a team to achieve our objective,” the Arsenal loanee said. “And the only objective is to get the three points and the goals that will take us to next stage.
“Nobody is going to die, I pray nobody gets injured. We are going to take the game serious.”
Nigeria will advance to the next stage of the U-23 AFCON qualifiers if they defeat Libya with more than two goals after 90 minutes. But a 2-0 win for the Olympic Eagles will drag the match into penalties.
The Olympic Eagles are the defending champions of the U-23 AFCON, having won the title four years ago in Senegal.