Nigeria’s Super Eagles touched down in South Africa sounding out the battle cry and telling anyone who cares to listen that they are here to battle and regain their respect after the unexpected 3-2 reversal against Congo in Calabar last weekend.
The Super Eagles know that they have to up the ante and get their campaign back on track with a good showing against Bafana Bafana. Midfielder Ogenyi Onazi and defender Azubuike Egwuekwe agreed the Eagles will have to spread their wings and fly over South Africa.
Various reactions followed that Calabar loss and supersport.com sought out the opinions of football enthusiasts and aficionados who all seemed to agree that the Eagles need to go for the jugular when they confront South Africa in her second Group A game on Wednesday:
The big boss is sure to have given the Eagles an earful after the loss against Congo – a humiliating defeat for the African Champions.
Some fans even questioned the players’ commitment and coach Stephen Keshi’s competence after the loss. Thus the match up against Bafana Bafana offers an opportunity for redemption for the Super Eagles.
Keshi will have to start star striker Emmanuel Emenike and figure out how to get midfield general John Obi Mikel ticking again if he hopes to get a win against a South African side with new found belief, in Cape town. Tactics and formation will also have to change.
With a great record against South Africa and the need to salvage wounded pride, Nigerians will expect nothing less than a win. Can the Eagles win it though? I think so.
With their 3-0 victory away to Sudan, a buoyant Bafana Bafana might unwisely go guns blazing against the Eagles, thus play into their hands.
Carl ‘Pointman’ Orakwe is a radio personality and a sports writer. He lives in Port-Harcourt.
The weather was the good on game day and despite the state of the pitch at UJ Esuene Stadium in Calabar,the right setting was set for a cracker.
Game time. After watching the first 10 minutes, I knew the Super Eagles would lose. My reason? Easy.
The Red Devils of Congo were moving the ball well and marking out the Super Eagles and choking up the spaces well and even when the Super Eagles took the lead through Ambrose Efe,I knew it was a matter of time before the Congolese equalised.
The reasons being that the Super Eagles were disjointed. There was no cohesion and commitment from the African champions. The problem with the Super Eagles is that we use the same players year in year out even when their form has dipped.
There is no competition for places, therefore complacency has set in. Every good team needs refreshing now and then. Nigeria has a rich flow of young players who can compete for places in the team, but Keshi stuck to his trusted lads.
They let him down this time out.
In the end the Super Eagle lost 2-3 due to lack of commitment and probably confidence. The die is cast for the Eagles. They have to come up with a result in Cape Town.
Keshi knows this. The team knows this.
Shuaibu ‘Sosh’ Umaru is a former JUTH FC of Jos player. He resides in Jos.
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