Football fans across the
country, celebrating the home-based Super Eagles’ victory against their Republic of Niger counterparts at the ongoing Championship for African Nations (CHAN) have urged them to remain focussed.
Tidesports reports that the Eagles on Monday in their opening group game, defeated the Mena of Niger 4-1 at the Stade de Kigali Stadium, Rwanda.
The fans also appealed to the Eagles not to be complacent but to concentrate on their remaining matches for them to triumph in the tournament.
In Ebonyi, the fans hailed the precision with which the home-based Eagles ‘annihilated’ Niger Republic, saying they won because of the coach’s tactical analysis of the match after the first half.
They also attributed the victory of the Nigerian boys to the players’ adherence to the instructions of their coach.
Chief Nicodemus Omenka, a former Ebonyi Commissioner for Sports, commended the team for its precision in all departments of the match, especially in the second half.
“The players showed utmost desire to win which reflected in the way they ‘annihilated’ Niger, especially in the second half.
“I could not agree less with the Supersports Television Network commentator, who remarked that Nigeria is a country blessed with immense footballing talents,’’ he said.
Harrison Obasi, Coach of Amateur League side, Ebonyi United FC, also praised Coach Sunday Oliseh for his tactical dexterity, noting that he analysed the first half efficiently.
“Oliseh realised that the Nigerien defenders always play the Nigerian strikers offside in the first half because they relied on long passes from the defence and midfield.
“He then deployed tactics where the passes came from the wings and on the ground from the midfield, this made the linesman get tired of ‘blowing’ for offside,” he said.
Palmer Iyanwa, a player of Defunct Anambra State Environmental Sanitation Agency (ASESA) Warriors, expressed joy over the hat-trick and heroic contributions of Chisom Chikatara in the match.
“Chikatara showed that his consistent form for Abia Warriors was no fluke as he painted a positive picture of the talents which abound in the Nigerian league.
“He ensured that Oliseh’s second half tactics worked by meandering through the Nigerien defence which checked their offside tactics and also positioned him effectively for goals,’’ he said.
Mr Elvis Ikwu, a Dentist, however warned the Eagles against complacency in their subsequent matches, especially against teams such as Tunisia with an “imposing domestic football’’ pedigree.
“This is the team’s first match and it will meet more established teams than Niger on their way to clinching the ultimate victory.
“The players should approach subsequent matches with utmost seriousness as they are presently the target of all teams in the competition,’’ he said.
Mrs Nnenna Mgbada, a civil servant, called on Nigerians to continue praying for the team, adding that the Nigerian team had a long way toward achieving its goal.
“The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), should ensure that the players are well motivated to ensure total concentration all through the competition,’’ she said.
In Okitipupa, Ondo State, the fans told NAN that the victory was a sign that the Eagles have bounced back to their winning ways.
Coach Samson Unuanel of Sunshine Stars FC of Akure, who commended the Eagles victory, said that they have put smiles on the faces of football fans across the country.
“I think the Eagles are back on their winning ways and if they can continue like this, they will go far in the championship,’’ he said.
From Jos, Coach Gbenga Ogunbote of Giwa FC, advised the national team players to intensify their fighting spirit to win other matches.
“I think they have performed well, but they should sustain the fighting spirit for them to be victorious in subsequent matches,’’ Ogunbote said.
Michael Akintunde, a sports presenter, hailed the Eagles technical and coaching crew for excellent jobs.
He urged the team to always play to instructions to win other matches.
“I think the technical crew has done a very good job; I only wish the players will continue to play to instructions in other matches,’’ Akintunde said.
Another sports analyst, Oluwatoyin Olafusi, said that the team should not be carried away by the euphoria of the victory but should concentrate more on other matches ahead.
Tidesports gathered that the Eagles’ second half goals from Osas Okoro and a hat-trick from Abia Warriors of Umuahia scoring sensation, Chisom Chikatara left the Nigeriens without a point from the encounter.
The Tidesports source further reports that the Eagles will play their second match against Tunisia on Friday.
Rangers Approve Three-Week Break For Players
The management of Rangers International FC, Enugu has approved a three-week break for players and coaches of the Flying Antelopes as the 2021/2022 season comes to an end, with August 28, 2022, as the date for the resumption of activities for the 2022/2023 season.
In a brief session with players, coaches, and backroom staff of the club, at the weekend, the Administrative Secretary, Barrister Ferdinand Emeka Ugwuarua, thanked the players and coaches for their efforts in the ended season though, he lamented the inability of the club to achieve its set targets.
Ugwuarua charged the players to be professional in conduct during the break so as to come back refreshed for the task ahead in the coming season, stressing, “We all understand that we could not achieve our set target for last season and we are desirous of achieving in the coming season, hence, I urge you to be professional in conduct during this break period so as to come back refreshed for the task ahead.”
Also speaking, the Technical Adviser of the side, Coach Abdul Maikaba praised the players and management for their determined display in the concluded season, stressing, “Even when our collective efforts did not result in achieving our set targets, I must thank you all for the cooperation shown and believe that we shall get it done in the coming season. I implore you all to display maturity as you take time off the game for the approved period and return stronger for us to strategize going into the new season.”
Recall that the Enugu landlords, Rangers International F.C ended the NPFL 2021/2022 season in the 5th spot amassing 56 points from 38 matches scoring 41 goals, and leaking in 30 goals, while they were eliminated from the Aiteo/Fed cup in the round of 32 by Oriental rivals, Heartland, 8-7 in a marathon of penalty-kicks after the regulation time, ended 1-1 inside Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia stadium, Benin-City.
Scrabble In The Jungle Championship Debuts August 26
A new level of organised scrabble tournament, tagged Scrabble In The Jungle Championship, will debut in the country on the 26th of this month.
The tournament, put together by Scrabble Las Vegas in conjunction with the Nigeria Scrabble Federation (NSF), will involve eight top-ranked players selected by NSF, as well as four wildcard nominees. They will compete over 36 round of games in a closed location over a three-day period.
According to the organisers, the 12 players will be kept in a boot camp, a controlled space where they will test their skills in the board game for three days without connecting with the outside world.
At the championship, the top players are expected to hunt for points on the boards using different strategies to outsmart their opponents.
The organisers added that fans and supporters would be given the chance to adopt any of the players, who they feel could win the title and the grand prize-money at the end of the show.
Speaking ahead of the championship, President of Scrabble Las Vegas, Musa Olasupo, who is the convener of the Scrabble in the Jungle series, said the desire to raise the stakes and make the sport more attractive and sustainable birthed the new variant of Scrabble in the Jungle Championship.
“The Scrabble In The Jungle Championship is a boot camp arrangement where we keep players under one roof to live, eat and drink scrabble for three days.
“Our focus is to encourage competitive scrabble that will reward excellence. This maiden edition will feature the top eight players, according to NSF July ratings, and four wildcards.
“Management of Vegas has discretionary powers on the four wildcards, but we hope to make the players of equal strength.
Fourth OPSH Peace Football Tourney Kicks Off In Jos
The fourth edition of the Operation Safe Haven Football Tournament, also known as Major General I.S Alli Peace and Unity Tournament, has kicked off at the Rwan Pam Township Stadium.
Initiated by The Special Task Force (STF) code-named Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), the opening ceremony of the competition was attended by dignitaries from within and outside Plateau State.
In his opening remarks, the General Officer Commanding Third Division Jos, who also doubles as the Commander, OPSH, Major General Ibrahim Ali, said the tournament was significant in the peace building process towards ensuring lasting peace in Plateau State and in all the local councils within OPSH Joint Operation Area.
General Ali noted that the core essence of the tournament was to use sports as a unifying tool to emphasise the benefits of peaceful co- existence, unity and teamwork.
Represented by the Deputy Commander, OPSH, DCP Mohammad Rabiu, the Commander described football as a universal sport that bonds people of diverse ethnic, cultural, political and religious affiliations together.
He promised to do everything possible to ensure successes recorded in the peace building efforts are not reversed, while urging the people to join hands and move away from behaviour that could subvert the collective growth of the people and enhance harmonious living.
Also speaking, the Chairman, House Committee on Navy and member representing Pankshin/Kanke/Kanam Federal Constituency, Yusuf Gagdi, applauded OPSH for improving the security situation of Plateau and other areas within its jurisdiction.
Gagdi maintained that the tournament would help to unite youths of diverse religious, cultural and political differences. He also pledged to continually support any initiative of OPSH designed to sustain peaceful co-existence in the state.
The climax of the event was the ceremonial football match between the 2021 champions, Barkin Ladi Boys and Zango Kataf Football Club.
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