October 22, 2021

Troost-Ekong: Super Eagles not scared of playing in Lagos

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Gernot Rohr’s side is set to take on the Crocodiles in their final Afcon qualifying game in the most populated city in the country

Watford centre-back William Troost-Ekong has revealed the current Nigeria national team is not afraid of playing in Lagos.

The Super Eagles will slug it out against Lesotho in their final 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying game at the Teslim Balogun Stadium on Tuesday evening.

The three-time African champions are returning to Lagos after 20 years and less than 10,000 fans will be allowed to watch the game at the Stadium.

Lagos fans are known to be very passionate about football, and Troost-Ekong revealed they are not afraid of playing there.

“I’ve heard that the fans are passionate, that’s nice because hopefully, we can feel their support,” Troost-Ekong told the Punch.

“Anywhere you play where the fans are passionate, you want to give your 100 per cent. We are not scared; we just want to play good football for them.”

Nigeria had already sealed their place at the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations before their 1-0 victory over the Republic of Benin at Stade Charles de Gaulle, in Porto Novo on Friday.

The Super Eagles are looking to further extend their lead at the top of the Group L table when they face the Crocodiles at Teslim Balogun Stadium.

With less than 10,000 fans set to watch the Nigeria game against Lesotho, Rangers centre-back Leon Balogun believes his side might not really experience how passionate the fans are.

“To be honest and I don’t mean it as a disrespect, I actually didn’t pay a lot of attention to the noise [about playing in Lagos] because I was preoccupied with Rangers,” he said.  

“We won’t have a lot of the fans amongst us, but maybe in the future, we will have a proper feel of Lagos.”

Nigeria have now qualified for the last two Africa Cup of Nations with games to spare under Rohr, after failing to feature in the 2017 edition.

The Super Eagles finished third at the last edition of the continental tournament in Egypt, behind winners Algeria and Senegal.

Their best performances at the biennial competition were in 1980, 1994 and 2013, where they won the highly coveted trophy and will hope to clinch their fourth title at the 2022 edition of the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.