Super Eagles defender Elderson Echiejile has reiterated his commitment to play at his best when Nigeria engages Ethiopia in Addis Ababa on Sunday.
Nigeria and Ethiopia battle for one of the five slots available for the Confederation of African Football (Caf) zone at the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil, with Sunday’s cracker at the Ykdachew Tessema Stadium, expected to be an explosive game between the two teams.
The 25-year-old left-back, who plies his trade with Portuguese club Sporting Braga, enters Sunday’s encounter with a booking accounted on his behalf when Nigeria played out a 1-1 draw against Kenya in Calabar in March.
Echiejile, could miss out of Saturday November 16th return leg a the UJ Esuene Stadium, Calabar, were he to go on and earn another booking on Sunday.
“The booking will not affect me,” the ex-youth footballer told his official website while allaying fears about the effect it portends to his performance in the crucial encounter.
“I am a professional and I have the experience to deal with such a situation.”
Echiejile is not the only member of the 23-man squad already on a booking. Others are Fenerbahce of Turkey striker Emmanuel Emenike, Lazio midfielder Ogenyi Onazi and Godfrey Obaobona of Rizespor.
Echiejile played the whole 90 minutes the last time both nations engaged in another all-important duel in Rostenburg, South Africa. More-or-less like Sunday’s scenario, Eagles needed a win to progress from Group C and the Ethiopians were willing to frustrate their effort.
Thanks to a Victor Moses brace, Nigeria recorded their seventh victory over the ‘Walyas Antelopes’ on their way to clinching a historic 14th African Cup of Nations (Afcon).
Attesting to the importance of the 2014 World Cup Playoff, Echiejile added: “It’s a very important game and at all times the team comes first.”
The Super Eagles will arrive in Addis Ababa on Saturday morning.