William Troost-Ekong name checked former Manchester United star Odion Ighalo among the Super Eagles strikers he is backing to score in Tuesday evening’s 2022 World Cup playoff between Nigeria and Ghana at the National Stadium in Abuja.
Victor Osimhen was preferred to Ighalo in Friday night’s goalless draw in Kumasi and even though the Napoli striker was unable to score his fifth goal in World Cup qualifying, he was full of running from start to finish and gave the Black Stars defenders something to think about.
Augustine Eguavoen fielded as many as six players classed as strikers against Ghana, with Victor Osimhen, Samuel Chukwueze, Moses Simon and Kelechi Iheanacho starting the game, while Ademola Lookman and Emmanuel Dennis entered the fray in the second half.
Troost-Ekong is not worried about the Super Eagles not scoring in back-to-back games and dwelled on the positive side instead, saying that the national team have conceded only once from open play in their last five competitive games.
Asked if not scoring goals is now a problem for the Super Eagles, Troost-Ekong said at the post-match press conference: “You can look at it two ways, You are missing some of the guys that came in Dennis, and Ighalo. These are all players known to score goals and I would back them.
“I think they are going to feel even more challenged to score and show everybody that they can do that.
“On the other half we have only conceded one goal (from open play) in five games so maybe that’s where our strength lies as well and of course the boys scored in the AFCON as well.
“I’m not worried about that at all. I see them in training everyday and what they have done in the Nigeria jersey so it’s just a matter of time and the statistics will be in our favour.
“If they haven’t scored for so long, now they are going to probably score in Abuja.”
The nine attack-minded players named on the 25-man roster for the World Cup playoff versus Ghana have scored 86 goals combined for their respective clubs in 2021-22, with Ighalo leading the way with a career best 22 goals in a single campaign.