By Nurudeen Obalola (photo by Ganiyu Yusuf) in Uyo:
Nigeria striker Odion Ighalo has dismissed as ‘mind games’ Zambia’s tough talk ahead of this evening’s World Cup qualifier here in Uyo, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
Zambia, led by their coach Wedson Nyirenda, have been talking a good game in the run-up to the match, apparently buoyed by their back-to-back victories over Algeria in September.
“We played two games against tough opponents Cameroon and got a win and a draw, so we’re confident,” Ighalo said here in Uyo.
“I’m not going to predict a 3-0 or 4-0 win, all I know is we will try and win to seal our qualification for the World Cup. The Zambians can talk all they want, I’m not bothered. It’s all mind games and it has no effect on us.
“They’re only trying to boost their own morale. It’s 11 vs 11 on matchday; the press will not play for Zambia.”
Ighalo, who scored the opening goal in the 4-0 World Cup qualifying win over Cameroon in Uyo in September, adds that he is always proud to play for the Super Eagles.
“Even when I was not invited for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against South Africa, the coach communicated with me and I just kept working hard,” the Chinese Super League club Chanchung Yatai striker explained.
“I’m always available to play for my country and I’m happy that I’m doing well in China.”
Nigeria will seal qualification for Russia 2018 with a win over Zambia tonight at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium. The African qualifying Group B clash kicks off at 5pm.