Europa League: Ferencvaros’ Esiti confident of win over Leverkusen

Europa League: Ferencvaros’ Esiti confident of win over Leverkusen
LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY - MARCH 09: Anderson Esiti of Ferencvarosi TC controls the Ball during the UEFA Europa League round of 16 leg one match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and Ferencvarosi TC at BayArena on March 9, 2023 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Joachim Bywaletz/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Ferencvaros midfielder Anderson Esiti has expressed confidence his Hungarian side will overturn their first-leg Europa League defeat to progress to the quarter-finals of the competition.

The Green Eagles, as they are fondly called, suffered a 2-0 defeat at Bayer Leverkusen in the first leg of their Europa League round of 16 tie last Thursday.

The three-cap Nigeria international put in an impressive performance for Ferencvaros in the encounter, but it was not enough to prevent them from losing to the Germans at the BayArena.

Ferencvaros need dominant performance to progress

With the return leg set to take place on Thursday, March 18, Ferencvaros will need to score at least two goals without conceding to have any chance of progressing to the next round.

The fans will be buoyed by Ferencvaros impressive performance at home this season, winning four of their last five home games in the Europa League. They will be hoping to continue that run and cause an upset against the Bundesliga side.

However, speaking ahead of the fixture, the 28-year-old Nigerian midfielder is counting on the fans to overturn the deficit at Puskás Aréna in Budapest.

“This was not the result we wanted; it was quite an intense match. We also showed that we can create situations against them, which we will have to do in a week,” said Esiti, as per Ulloi129.

“Our fans are always great, but you have to come to Budapest to experience what they are really like. Not all of them could be here now, but they will also be able to make the difference in the return match.”

The combative defensive midfielder has not played for the Super Eagles since September 2019 when he featured in the 2-2 stalemate against Ukraine in a friendly in Kiev.

Dare charges NFF to prepare Flying Eagles to win FIFA World Cup

The Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Hon. Sunday Dare has tasked the Nigeria Football Federation to adequately prepare the U20 boys, Flying Eagles, to challenge for the FIFA U20 World Cup trophy in Indonesia in a few weeks.

Hon. Dare threw the challenge to the NFF and Head Coach Ladan Bosso at a reception hosted for the Africa U20 Cup of Nations bronze medallists at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja on Monday.

“You have returned from Egypt with the bronze medals and the FIFA World Cup ticket, and a few other prizes, but the FIFA World Cup is in a few weeks and I want you to focus your mind on winning it for Nigeria for the first time. I understand Ghana is the only African country that has won the FIFA U20 World Cup. If Ghana can win it, why not Nigeria?

“I am happy about your performance in Egypt because you were able to come from a position of adversity – a depressing loss to The Gambia in the semi final – to fire on all cylinders to defeat Tunisia for the bronze medals. That is the spirit that the Government and people of Nigeria want you to take to the World Cup. We are on the same page with the NFF on adequate preparation of our National Teams for matches and competitions, and I believe they will provide you with good-enough preparation for the global finals in Indonesia.”

The Flying Eagles will go on a short break before reconvening for the phased preparations for the FIFA World Cup, taking place in Indonesia, 20th May – 11th June.

This article was most recently revised and updated 12 months ago

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