Nigeria’s assistant coach Kennedy Boboye is unimpressed by the team’s performance at the 2019 West Africa Football Union Cup of Nations and admitted it as a failure.
The Super Eagles did not win a game in Senegal before they were knocked out of the biennial competition after defeats to Togo and Cape Verde.
The early exit came as a disappointment for Nigeria who were finalists in the 2017 edition in Ghana.
Boboye described the country’s outing in Thies as awful and he cited various reasons for the underwhelming display.
“It was awful because we came here with the thinking of getting something in this tournament but it didn’t work out the way we planned,” Boboye told Tidesports source.
“I think it is a learning process for us to go back and re-strategise in many aspects of the department that we failed. For me, as far as I am concerned, I think we failed in this tournament.
“The reason we find ourselves in this position was because we did not take our chances in front of goal because we missed so many chances and we conceded some stupid goals that we are not supposed to, which cost us dearly.
“First thing is most of the players are making their first appearance in a big tournament like this. It is a different thing being in a club and being in the national team.
“You can not bring the club attitude to the national team. The tournament is once you are out, you are out it is unlike a league where you can still play the same opponent again. I think we did not take our chances and we were wasteful in front of goal”, he said.
A 2-1 loss to Togo in their opening fixture condemned Nigeria to the quarter-final of the plate competition.
However, they were stunned by Cape Verde who held them to a 1-1 draw at the end of regulation time and later came out victorious with a 3-2 win via penalty shoot-out.
He said: “Anybody that watched the game would know that Cape Verde were no match to the Nigeria team,” the former Sunshine Stars and Plateau United coach continued.
“We played better and we were in control of the game until that equaliser came in.
“Sometimes you lose grip, you cannot be on top of your feet for the whole of 90 or 120 minutes. Sometimes you make mistakes and when it happens, they punish you for it.”
Following the Super Eagles’ defeat to Togo on September 29, head coach Imama Amapakabo revealed the objective in Senegal was to build a team for the future.
The team is largely dominated by the Olympic Eagles who are preparing for the Africa U-23 Cup of Nations in Egypt next month and Boboye is optimistic they will fly the country’s flag high in years to come.
“We’ve got some quality players from this tournament that we think in the next three of four years, they will be better players in the national team. Sometimes, the biggest problem from where we come from is patience,” he said.
“We don’t have patience in building with one instant result. Most of the teams in this tournament have been together for quite some time. We just assembled these players in two or three months and where we come from, they still want magic. These players are like tomorrow’s players for the Super Eagles.”
The early exit might come as a blessing in disguise for Nigeria who now have time to prepare for the return fixture of their clash against Togo on October 18, after a 4-1 loss in Lome last month.
Boboye, a former Nigeria Professional Football League title-winning coach, revealed the tasks ahead of the team as they look to make fans happy again.
“We have two tasks ahead of us now. We lost to Togo in Lome and we have the return leg next week. That is a must-win game for us to take us back to CHAN,” he added.
“The second one is for us to go to Egypt for the U23 Afcon and make sure we qualify for the Olympic. Those are two big tasks for us and I don’t think we will have any distraction than to go back and prepare very well.”
GoTv Boxing Night Mini Excites Boxers
The introduction of GoTv Boxing Night Mini which will debut on November 16 at Mobolaji Johnson Sports Complex, Rowe Park, Yaba in Lagos has sparked excitement among boxers.
The decision to introduce GoTv Boxing Night Mini was announced recently by the organisers, Flykite Productions, who said it was intended to get boxers involved in many fights.
According to Flykite Productions, GoTv Boxing Night Mini, which will hold more frequently at various venues, will give boxers more opportunities to fight and build their fight profiles.
It will in the end increase their eligibility for international titles.
Several boxers have commended the sponsors for increasing their opportunities to fight, saying many talented ones seeking avenues would benefit from GoTv Boxing Night Mini.
Kamaru “Slow Poison” Aremu, a boxer who has yet to make his professional bout, said that his chances of getting an opportunity to fight had been boosted.
“I like GoTv Boxing Night and I have tried to be on the bill a few times, but unfortunately did not succeed.
“With GoTv Boxing Night Mini, which will hold more regularly than the big ones, I believe that boxers in my shoes will have opportunities to fight and also feature at the main event,” he said.
A similar sentiment was expressed by Sikiru “Omo Iya Eleja” Shogbesan, who has had one fight at GoTv Boxing Night, but was seeking more to boost his fight profile.
According to him, the competition for spots on the bill at the main event is stiff, making it tough to be selected.
“GoTv is about the only serious sponsors of boxing in Nigeria. It means getting to fight at the main event is tough.
“But with the mini edition, boxers stand to have more opportunities, as GoTv Boxing Night Mini will hold more frequently,” he said.
The West African Boxing Union (WABU) Lightweight champion, Rilwan “Real One” Oladosu, who is billed to fight at the maiden edition, said the tournament was coming at the right time.
Reactions Trail Super Eagles, Brazil Friendly Match
Reactions have continued to trail the Nigeria Super Eagles’ performance against the Brazilian National team in a grade A international friendly game.
The encounter was held at Singapore National Stadium, Kallang, last Sunday, it ended one all draw.
In his reaction, Hon Otonye Uche said the Eagles’ performance was credible, saying that their future is bright.
He explained that fielding young players against a good side like Brazil is a sign of improvement.
Uche commended both players and technical crew, added that with such impressive performance they will do well in 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON)
“If only they can keep these set of players they will do well in future competitions “ Uche said.
Bariledum Leema, a sports analyst in Port Harcourt, also lauded Eagles’ impressive performance.
According to him, what Eagles need now is a quality coach.
“The future of the Super Eagles of Nigeria is bright. They will even do better, but what they need now is a good coach” Leema said.
He further explained that, even without some important players during the match the Eagles gave a good account of themselves.
He described the game as a huge improvement from Nigeria 3-0 defeat to the Brazilian in a friendly match in Abuja in June 2003.
Go Round FC’s Coach Ready For Challenge
Justin Smart was handed the mandate to lead Go Round FC in the Nigeria National League (NNL) this season and he has said he is ready for the challenge.
Smart was assistant to Willy Udube in the 2018/ 19 NPFL season that saw the team relegated to the lower division, but has now been moved up to Head coach following the departure of his former boss to Abia Warriors.
After two weeks of intensive pre-season training, Smart has spoken up regarding what he has done so far and what is left to do before the season kicks off.
“The last two weeks have been intensive for us because the club decided to embark on open screening exercise, first for people of Ogba Egbema Ndoni origin and another one open for anyone that wanted to try out.
“After the first one week, I was able to pick a couple of players from the area that I think are good enough. I was supposed to pick five but from what I have seen of them I am very sure at least two of them will be good enough for the first-team next season,” Smart said.
“In the general screening session I also saw a couple of players I can bank on for the league so it has been all well and good for us within the last two weeks.”
Players and those invited by the coaches from other clubs will begin to arrive in Omoku as the team will begin their final lap of preparations for the new season.
“I have a lot of prospects that I invited from other clubs. Then there are the returning players and then those we got during the screening, so I believe we will get players we need for the league,” Smart insists.
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