A cross-section of Abuja based football enthusiasts say the Super Eagles were outstanding against the Mediterranean Knights of Libya last Saturday in an Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier in Uyo.
The Tidesports source reports that Odion Ighalo scored a hat-trick as the Super Eagles defeated Libya 4-0 in their third Group E game of the 2019 AFCON Qualifiers.
Samuel Kalu added the fourth goal when he curled a shot past the goalkeeper after he received a pass from Henry Onyekuru in the game at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium.
The result meant Nigeria picked up their second win in the group and now have six points, a point behind table-toppers South Africa who had earlier defeated Seychelles 6-0 on Saturday.
The Super Eagles return to action when they travel to Tunisia to face Libya in the reverse fixture on Tuesday.
The football enthusiasts who spoke to sports journalists after the game said the Eagles gave a good account of themselves at the end of a very crucial match.
They however urged the Eagles not to relent in their efforts and maintain the same form which they displayed in Uyo when they face Libya in Tunisia.
Segun Agbede, a sports pundit, said even though the first half was a bit shaky as both teams struggled to assert themselves, the Super Eagles were classy and dominant in the second half.
“It was a brilliant second half performance from the Super Eagles today, and I must admit I didn’t see this scoreline coming.
“This result will resound around Africa and send a strong message to all and sundry that the Eagles mean business,” he said.
Audu Yisa, a banker, who said he could not fault the performance of the Eagles, added that the match was supposed to be” a banana skin” for the team but surprisingly “ended like a roller-coaster”.
“It was an all-round performance by the Super Eagles today. Their exchange of passes was on point and the midfielders were so comfortable with the ball.
“Ighalo proved all his doubters wrong with a lovely hat-trick and Kalu’s goal was indeed a stunner as he justified his call-up to the national team.
“Surprisingly, nobody saw the huge scoreline coming, but it could have even be more scandalous for the Libyans if the Eagles had taken all the chances they created.
“We sincerely hope they can replicate the same performance when they play the second leg on Tuesday,”
Edafe Eseoghene, a businessman singled out stand-in team captain Ahmed Musa for praise.
“Musa’s performance today clearly showed that his decision to go to Saudi Arabia to ply his trade has not in any way diminished the value and quality of his play.
“What a first-time pass for Ighalo, the man on fire to make his first hat-trick for Nigeria!
“It sure must have been a great fun and excitement for the fans in Uyo as the Super Eagles were indeed ‘super’ today,” he said.
Biola Kazeem, a medical doctor, said he was happy with the feat achieved by Ighalo.
He pointed out that the forward had finally picked up form after a long and tough stint in his national team career.
“Very happy for Ighalo. He has had a very hard time in the Super Eagles but he has continued to carry on.
“I am glad he got his reward today and now has a platform to really take off. A firing Ighalo is a big asset to us because he offers so much even without scoring,” Kazeem said.
Reports have it that Ighalo, with his performance on Saturday, became the 10th player to score a hat-trick for Nigeria.
‘Super Eagles Coach Lacks Class’
Former Nigeria international, Victor Ezeji, has slammed Gernot Rohr, describing the German as a coach who has not improved the Super Eagles, with reference to their style of play and talent management.
Rohr recently helped the three-time African champions qualify for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon after their third-place finish at the 2019 tournament in Egypt.
Despite the team’s success, the former Enyimba striker said the tactician, who has been at the helm since 2016, has not impacted the Super Eagles with a particular style of football and he lacks the class to co-ordinate the players.
Ezeji expressed his frustration after Rohr’s men failed to score a goal in their twin friendlies against Cameroon. They suffered a 1-0 loss against the Indomitable Lions last Friday before playing out a goalless draw on Tuesday.
“I have never been a fan of Gernot Rohr but the truth is, sometimes it is not even about the result and sometimes, your team can play very well and lose, people could say they lost and there is prospect for the team,” Ezeji told news men.
“But in the case of this Gernot Rohr’s team, they are not playing very well and they are not winning; so, people will definitely complain. We have known our Super Eagles to have flair when playing, but that has not happened under him, whichever way he wins his game.
“There is no flair in their game, I think he is done with the team if you ask me because he is not showing anything, no class. We’ve got the players but I think what we lack is who co-ordinates them.”
Last year May, Rohr agreed on a two-and-half-year contract extension to remain as Super Eagles coach with the target of guiding the country to the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar and also win the 2022 Afcon.
Ezeji argued that the former Bordeaux manager has not been a success in Nigeria and he recalled how indigenous coaches Christian Chukwu also led the country to a third-place at 2004 Afcon before Stephen Keshi’s side triumphed at the 2013 edition in South Africa.
“I don’t know what his contract with the NFF looks like but personally, I don’t think he has achieved anything because even our indigenous coaches got to third at Afcon and we became the continent’s champions,” he continued.
“In his own case, third-place is not enough at all with the kind of personnel and abundant of talents we have in Nigeria presently, he should do better. As I stated earlier, it is not about winning the cup but it is about playing good football and there are ways you do that.
“Remember Imama’s [Amapakabo] U23 boys’ game against Libya in Asaba [U23 Afcon qualifier in March 2019], we needed three goals to go through but after the first-half, everybody was like even if they did not get through we are satisfied with their performance but the boys got the result and advanced.
“We need to start seeing that kind of performance in our Super Eagles, nobody has any confidence now that even if we play market women they will win. We need to have that confidence in our team and be rest assured of good football against any opponent.”
350 Golfers Set For IBB Golf Captain’s Tourney
No fewer than 350 golfers and 50 tennis players will be competing in the inaugural IBB Golf and Country Captain’s Tourney in Abuja.
The tourney which is expected to tee-off from Friday, June 10, to Saturday 11, 2021 at the IBB Golf and Country club which will see professional golfers battle in the Handicap 19 to 36 event while the amateur will clash in the Nest event.
According to the Chairman Organising Committee of the 2021 Inaugural IBB golf Captain’s club, Olabanjo Obaleye said preparations are in top gear to host a successful tournament.
He also noted that the golfers and officials would be in adherence to all the COVID-19 protocol towards ensuring the safety of all Stakeholders.
“This tournament is to usher in the new Executive Members of the IBB golf and Country, which is done after every new executive Member is elected.
“We have gotten some sponsors for the tournament and I can tell you that they would be mouthwatering prizes for the winner and consolation prizes for best loser.
We will also have a dinner on Saturday where the prizes will be presented to the winners.
“Also we have put some modalities in place to ensure the safety of all players and Officials for the tournament.” Olabanjo said.
HiFL: UNIBEN Royals Tackle UNICAL Malabites
Pace Sports and Entertainment Marketing Limited, the organisers of the Higher Institutions Football League (HiFL), has released the draws for the round of 16 games at an event held in Lagos. The games are scheduled to be held between June and September 2021.
In Week 1, AAUA Luminaries will play OAU Giants in Ondo, FUTA Tigers will tackle UNILAG Marines in Akure, LAUTECH Hunters will attempt to hunt down the FUTMINNA Transformers in Ogbomoso while KSU Steelers engages UNILORIN Warriors.
For the week 2 games, Uniben Royals will play defending champion UNICAL Malabites, IAUE Minders will tackle UNN Lions in Port Harcourt, ABU Nobles will confront UAM Tillers in Zaria while BUK Stallions slugs it out with UNIMAID Desert Warriors in Kano.
Speaking at the draws, Director, PACE Sports and Entertainment Marketing Limited, Sola Fijabi acknowledged the efforts of all participating schools and encouraged them to maintain their sportsmanlike conduct as the games go on. “We are now at a very exciting stage of the league. What was witnessed during the qualifiers was the tip of the iceberg. The schools are ready and what we assure lovers of collegiate sports is double excitement. We appreciate the support of NUGA and our sponsors Nivea Men and Minimie for their trust in HiFL and as we deliver value to all our stakeholders,” Fijabi said.
- Business5 days ago
‘OPEC Member Countries Lost $trn To Oil Price Plunge In Two Years’
- Politics5 days ago
Bill To Unbundle NIPOST Passes 3rd Reading In Senate
- Business5 days ago
Insecurity May Cause Food Shortages In Nigeria – AFAN
- Politics5 days ago
LG Polls: Lagos PDP Concludes Primaries
- Politics5 days ago
Electoral Act: Rumbles In Senate Over Card Reader, Results’ Electronic Transmission
- Niger Delta5 days ago
Yenagoa Law School: Ijaw Group Commends Wike’s Magnanimity
- Opinion5 days ago
Governance And Peer Review Mechanism
- Politics5 days ago
Zamfara Gov Reinstates Three Commissioners