December 7, 2023

Ahead of Nigeria’s two international friendlies against Costa Rica and Portugal, former international and Kwara United goalkeeper, Dele Aiyenugba, believes that the most important thing is that the Super Eagles have the opportunity to continue its build-up to the next round of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying series.

Nigeria largely made up of home-based players who were camped in Ibadan under coach Salisu Yusuf trained at the Centro De Alto Rendimiento Training Centre, San Jose, Costa Rica on Monday.

Aiyenugba, who won the CAF Champions League with Enyimba spoke to Brila FM on Tuesday on his expectations from the friendly games.

“It’s great that we are playing two big matches in November against teams going to the World Cup (Costa Rica and Portugal),” the onetime Bnei Yehuda of Israel goalkeeper said.

“It’s not about losing or winning. It’s not a do-or-die affair. It’s about building team bond, integrating a couple new players ahead of the AFCON qualifiers from next year.

“The team just have to play well. Football is an open game. If you play well, people will see your performance.

“If the right players are there to play for Nigeria, then let the best legs play for Nigeria,” Aiyenugba insisted.

This current Costa Rican side is not as talented as that 2014 team, but La Tricolor still boast the experience of PSG’s shot-stopper Keylor Navas (PSG), former Arsenal forward Joel Campbell, and captain Bryan Ruiz.

The Eagles will face the North Americans in the early hours of Thursday (3:00am Nigeria time, 8pm Costa Rica time) before next week’s clash against Portugal.

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