President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, has said the national team defeated Cape Verde in their World Cup qualifying game, because they have “the attitude of champions”.
The Super Eagles came from a goal down to win 2-1 at Estadio Municipal Aderito Sena on Tuesday.
After the game, Pinnick showered encomium on Gernot Rohr’s team for their fighting spirit, notwithstanding the absence of the UK-based players.
“That was what I call a fighting performance. That is the universally acknowledged ‘Nigerian spirit’. That is the attitude of champions,” Pinnick was quoted by NFF media.
“The pitch was not the best; the weather was not ideal, but they remained focused on the big picture and eked a win that guaranteed all the points. Six maximum points from two matches are something to celebrate.
“Against Liberia in Lagos, they played on a wet pitch because it rained and still got the job done. Against Cape Verde, they were a goal down on an artificial turf they would rather not play on, yet they took to the task with the mentality of winners and left with the spoils.
“We have not won the group yet, but we are in a good place and I see us picking the ticket to the knockout round before the final day of the group phase.
“While we would have loved to have the UK-based players on the trip, I am enamoured by the fighting spirit of those who picked shirts. They delivered with aplomb and this has certainly provided depth for the squad going forward.
“Now, we must sustain the momentum. It is important that the team is able to replicate the same strong focus, the same compact play, the same fighting spirit and the same marksmanship in the double face-off with the Central African Republic early next month.”