Eagles face tough task against Hawks

Imama Amapakabo’s side lost 4-1 to the Sparrow Hawks in the first leg of their CHAN 2020 qualifier to the Sparrow Hawks at the Stade de Kegue Stadium, Lome, Togo on September 22.

A brace from Nane Richard and strikes from Tchakei Marouf and Agoro Ashraf canceled out Ibrahim Sunusi’s eight-minute opener at Stade de Kegue, Lome.

They also suffered a 2-1 loss to the Togolese at the recent WAFU tournament in Senegal.

The 2018 African Nations Championship finalists must score at least three goals without conceding to have a chance of winning the final round qualifier and reaching the tournament for a fourth consecutive time.

 Despite admitting his side face a daunting task, Amapakabo refuses to abandon hope, believing clinical finishing can see them win comfortably.

“I have been drumming into the ears of my players that we cannot afford to fail,” Amapakabo said ahead of the game.

“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.”

The former Enugu Rangers coach has called up six new players to the squad as he bids to pull chestnuts out of the fire.

Super Eagles goalkeeper, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, who opted out of the first leg to take part in the friendly game with Brazil, has been added to the squad along with Destiny Ashadi (Katsina United) and Kano Pillars striker Nyima Nwagua for the must-win encounter against the Togolese in Lagos.

Ifeanyi Aneamena (Enyimba), Anthony Shimaga (Rangers) and Ifeanyi Nweke (Kano Pillars) have also been invited.

Meanwhile, Togo coach Abalo Dosseh is confident his side will see off the tie in front of Eagles’ homes fans.

“We feel very good about the win and we have another half to finish in Nigeria, “Dosseh told

“It’s obviously not the result which ends the tie, but the most important thing is the result and we are ahead.

“To win against a very good team in Nigeria is not easy because it takes a lot of hard work. The job will be completed.”
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