Gernot Rohr’s men welcome the Crocodiles to the Teslim Balogun Stadium for their final Afcon qualifying fixture on Tuesday
Former Nigeria winger Garba Lawal said the Super Eagles are lucky to avoid fan pressure in Lagos when they host Lesotho for their final 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match on Tuesday.
The three-time African champions return to the Southwestern part of Nigeria for a home game after a long while and they are scheduled to play at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
Nigeria qualified for the biennial showpiece on Saturday after an away win in Benin but Lawal suggested that fan presence would encourage Gernot Rohr’s men not to relax on their oars when they host Lesotho.
The 46-year-old had many experiences of the Lagos atmosphere during his international career which spanned nine years with a record of six goals in 57 games for the Super Eagles.
Fans are restricted from entering the stadium due to the government’s restriction on large gatherings to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
“They are lucky because I know the pressure of Lagos, I played in the city for many years when I was playing in the national team but I liked to see fans when I played there,” Lawal told Goal.
“They are lucky they don’t have that pressure at the moment but the most important thing is a win.
“For sure, they will miss the fans’ songs because whenever you don’t score in 10 to 15 minutes they start singing. However, it is good for the team to test the Lagos ground.”
Nigeria had to wait until the 93rd minute to beat Benin on Saturday after Paul Onauchu came off the bench to nod in the match-winning goal in Porto-Novo.
The former Esperance and Roda JC star urged Rohr’s men not to underrate Lesotho even though the Southern African country is already eliminated from Group L.
“Everyone knows in normal circumstances, Benin and Lesotho are no match for Nigeria but football these days has changed. There are no small games again,” he continued.
“I believe they want to win both games and we have confidence in them because the coach made his list and he called the best of the best. And I believe we want to see them playing good football and we want to see them winning.
“If someone had predicted that we would play 4-4 with Sierra Leone in Nigeria, we would have said no but it happened so what it means is that we can never tell what will happen in football these days. They just have to take the game very seriously.”