Rohr Visits Teslim Balogun Stadium Ahead of Upcoming AFCON 2021 Qualifier
Nigerian national team boss Gernot Rohr has paid a visit to the famous Teslim Balogun Stadium ahead of the Super Eagles 2021 African Cup of Nations qualifying match their next month. Nigeria takes on Lesotho on March 30, which will be the first time the Super Eagles return to Lagos in some two decades.
Rohr visited the stadium on Friday, February 12, accompanied by Nigeria Football Federation First Vice President, Seyi Akinwunmi and the Lagos Sports Commission Chairman, Sola Aiyepeku. The Teslim Bologun Stadium has recently undergone renovations in an attempt to modernize it and improve the facilities.
Why the Teslim Balogun Stadium is Now Once Again Fit to Host the Super Eagles
Part of the renovation included switching the former artificial surface to grass, meaning that it now meets the necessary requirements to host Nigerian national team matches. The Stadium remains under the hands of the Lagos State Government, which funded the recent improvements.
The National Stadium was formally the home of the Super Eagles, however its decline following the 2000 African Cup of Nations Final between Nigeria and Cameroon meant that matches have now been spread across the country.
How Nigeria’s Qualifying Campaign Has Gone So Far
Nigeria sits top of Group L ahead of their clash with Lesotho next month, having gone their opening four qualifying encounters uneaten. A 2-1 win against Benin was followed up by an entertaining 4-2 success away in Lesotho, before consecutive draws against Sierra Leone halted their progress.
The Super Eagles were 4-0 up after 30 minutes in their home time with Sierra Leone, before a second half collapse ultimately meant that the two nations shared the points. The result piled the pressure on head coach Rohr, with the NFF having reportedly been eyeing up replacements for the German, who has been in charge of the Super Eagles since back in 2016.
The postponement of the African Cup of Nations to January 2022 will hopefully give Nigeria the time to rediscover their best form, with the Super Eagles being among the favorites for the tournament, despite having not won it since 2013. Last time out, Nigeria finished in third place, with a goal from Odion Ighalo helping them to beat Tunisia in their playoff tie.
Nigeria travel to Benin 8 days before potentially hosting Lesotho in Lagos, games which will, barring a huge surprise, secure their place at the finals next year.