Nigeria need record victory to avoid African Nations humiliation
AFP, Johannesburg :
Nigeria coach Imama Amapakabo has urged his squad to forget a 4-1 first leg drubbing in Togo and create African Nations Championship history by overcoming the deficit.
The countries clash Saturday in Lagos and the hosts must scored at least three goals to have a chance of winning the final round qualifier and reaching the tournament a fourth consecutive time.
Sunusi Ibrahim gave Nigeria an early first leg lead in Lome last month before his team were overpowered by opponents seeking a first appearance at a competition restricted to home-based stars.
Richard Nane was the tormentor-in-chief for the underdogs, bagging a brace, while Tchakai Marouf and Agoro Achraf also scored.
But Amapakabo refuses to abandon hope, believing clinical finishing can rescue a tie 2018 runners-up Nigeria were expected to win comfortably.
"I have been drumming into the ears of my players that we cannot afford to fail," he said ahead of the standout fixture among 15 to be played between Friday and Sunday.
"Togo won 4-1 on their ground so who is to say that we cannot do better on our home ground? We cannot afford not to be at the African Nations Championship.
"We have to be focused and determined. Crucially, we must create scoring chances and put them away."