Ex-internationals Yisa Shofoluwe and Joseph Dosu have both submitted that the Lone Star of Liberia had luck on their side when they forced the Super Eagles to a 2-2 draw in a 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Monrovia on Saturday.
Nigeria were leading 2-1 until the 66th minute when Sekou Oliseh pulled the hosts level and back into contention for the ticket to South Africa 2013.
Shofoluwe said the ambience of playing before the home crowd helped the Liberians to fight harder than was expected in the game.
“There are no longer minnows in international football, so Liberia should not be seen as walkovers. However, the Eagles could have won the game if they had met at another venue,” Shofoluwe said.“I’m so confident that the Eagles will be ready to unleash their anger when they meet again for the second leg tie next month. I don’t see Liberia surviving in the encounter.”
Dosu, who is confident the next game will not be a repeat of Nigeria versus Guinea match which denied the Eagles an appearance at the last Africa Cup of Nations, said Nigerians should be patient with the team.
“I don’t understand why we should criticise the players at this stage; they’ve done well by getting a point in Liberia. The same Ikechukwu Uche some people are criticising for missing goal opportunities was the one that had scored crucial goals for Nigeria in the past,” Dosu said.
“We should understand that Liberia was ready to give everything they had while playing at home and that was what we saw. If, however, Nigeria got a draw after the Lone Star gave all they had, we should be able to overrun them in the second let tie.”
Dosu said the team would need a little more time and more games to fully blend and play with a better mobility.
“When a team is just being put together there’s the problem of blending. We have the right players in the team, what they need is time and, of course, more games.”
The return leg fixture comes up in Calabar, Cross River State on October 14.