Pundits Allay Fears On Nigeria’s Friendly Losses

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Soccer pundits at the weekend in Lagos said that there was no cause for alarm in Nigeria’s two national teams’ losses recently in international friendly matches.

The Flying Eagles lost 0-1 to Rwanda in its preparation for the African Youth Championship (AYC) qualifier against Tanzania scheduled for July 29 in Dar-er-Salam.

The Falconets also lost 2-3 to Ghana in a tune-up match in preparation for FIFA U-20 female World Cup in September in Japan.

A sports analyst with Masters Sport International, Ejiro Omonode, said the matches were only to keep the two teams ready for the championships ahead.

“It is not by these matches we judge our teams, their friendly matches were just to test their skills and further sharpen their game plans to perfection.

“This showed that the two teams still need to work hard. The two competitions are not meant for unprepared countries. Every country in the two competitions is hungry for glory.

“So, my advice to their handlers is for them to use the loss to note areas they need to seriously work on,” Omonode said.

An ex-international, Okey Emordi, urged Nigerians not to allow the two losses to bother them, rather they should see them as challenges.

Emordi described the losses as wake up calls, saying he believed that the losses would tune up the teams.

“The handlers of the two teams should wake up to their responsibilities, the two Nigeria sides are well exposed; there is no ordinary opposition anymore.

“They should use these two losses to know that they are not invincible,” Emodi added.

Ex Super Falcons player, Okunwa Igunbor, however, said that the two teams’ losses proved that there was still more work to do.

“We cannot be losing to teams we should beat easily. Although the Ghanaian national female opposition is always a tough opposition, we still have that edge as African champions over them.

“This just proved that the teams need to work harder because we cannot afford to lose in the Africa qualifying competition having lost the Olympics tickets,” Igunbor said.

Igunbor, however, added that since FIFA does not use friendly matches to rate teams, Nigerians should not see the losses as set back.

She added that notwithstanding, the handlers of the two teams should not rest on their oars and must be well prepared for the international competitions ahead.