Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr has confirmed that Nigeria will battle Lesotho for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos in March.
Nigeria will return to Lagos after 10 years, having played their home games at Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo and recently at Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City.
The last competitive game Nigeria played in Lagos was a 1-0 Nations Cup qualifying win over Zambia in January 2001, and 10 years later, there was a 2-1 friendly win over Sierra Leone at the venue.
While Rohr reiterated confident that the facility will be made ready before the game, the Franco-German tactician is of the view that some of his boys born in Europe will use the opportunity to discover the ‘crazy’ city.
“Yes, it’s official. We will play in Lagos against Lesotho on March 30, for the sixth and final day of qualifying for the next Afcon,” Rohr told Europe1 as quoted by Goal.
“It will probably be in an empty stadium. Teams are working on the lawn. I inspected it all. The traffic in Lagos is terrible, but we are promised an escort between our hotel and the stadium, or even to close the road to allow us to avoid traffic jams.
“The other day, I took an hour to make the trip. It’s a bit much before a game.
“The idea of playing in Lagos is good for the players. Some do not know this city at all, this is the case of Leon Balogun, Aribo or others, who were born in Europe.
“They will discover this crazy city, with 19 million inhabitants. It is important that we have security, escorts to move around and a good lawn to play. We are working on all these aspects.
“We know that a lot of work is done, that the lawn is watered every day and that machines have been ordered to mow the grass well.
The three-time African champions will face the Crocodiles of Lesotho on March 30 after their encounter against the Squirrels of Benin three days earlier, which Rohr has confirmed that his side will travel by sea to the Francophone country.
“As for hotels, there is no problem, there are a lot of them in Lagos. We will have the “fitness” at the hotel, which we did not have on the previous day in Benin City.
“We will be very close to Benin. We risk making the trip to Cotonou, where we play our match of the 5th day on March 27, by boat, because the road is not good and the crossing only lasts two hours.”
The Super Eagles will go into both encounters as leaders of Group L with eight points and need just a win in either games to seal their qualification to the continental showpiece.