by using George Aluo
ANY follower of the round leather-based game referred to as soccer would agree that it’s a activity through which anything might occur relating to the outcome of a suit.
the best aspect on the earth could lose to a rag tag workforce on a nasty day. Soccer historical past is replete with such outcomes.
however ultimate weekend at the Uyo Nest of Champions where the Su- per Eagles played host to South Africa, nearly every Nigerian soccer fan was ready to put his or her money on an Eagles victory.
So many factors knowledgeable this self belief in advance of the AFCON 2019 qualifier.
First, this was a super Eagles that seemingly ready smartly for the in shape after two back to again global pleasant fits in France and a couple of weeks of camping within the European united states.
Secondly, the Eagles are within the arms of a instruct, Gernot Rohr that everybody has been heaping praises on as being a excellent tacti- cian. The Franco-German tacti- cian who was employed final year through the NFF was yet to lose a healthy after eight outings.
Thirdly, the Eagles are popu- lated via a bunch of young and immensely proficient players which might be rearing to go.
Fourthly, the Eagles have been going to play on a excellent turf in Uyo…the Uyo turf remains the u . s . a .’s easiest.
Fifthly, the Eagles had been positive of getting excellent improve from the stands given the passionate approach Uyo fanatics rooted for the staff in earlier outings there.
it is easy to go on and on to reel out reasons why South Africa would fall yakata as they are saying in local parlance.
some other factor that would no longer in any respect were overpassed with the aid of the enthusiasts and pundits alike is the fact that the Eagles have been going into the sport with the wealthy his- tory of no longer ever losing to South Africa in any competitive recreation.
shedding to Bafana Bafana used to be subsequently now not going to happen at a time after we had a crew that had long gone eight fits unbeaten beneath our “new Westerhof”, Ger- now not Rohr.
interestingly, football lived up to its billing -that of being an unpredictable sport, when the chips were down on the magnifi- cent Uyo soccer nest, in any other case known as the Godswill Akpabio Stadium.
After a goalless first half of, South Africa struck first within the 53rd minute when Dan Akpeyi did not take care of an in depth vary header with the aid of Tekole Rantie. The boys of Stuart Baxter went in advance to consolidate their lead and put the sport past Nigeria when unmarked exchange Percy Tau strolled past fumbling Akpeyi to fit within the 2d purpose.
What went improper with the Eagles? This has been the ques- tion on the lips of each Nigerian soccer fan, a few of whom are but to come to terms with the end result several days after the healthy.
President general of the Ni- geria football Supporters membership, Dr. Rafiu Ladipo used to be too dazed for feedback, at the same time as Christian Chukwu, one of the vital country’s soccer legends stated he was once nonetheless to consider the end result of the suit.
a couple of causes have seeing that been evolved by way of analysts as to why the Eagles failed to fly. The Prince of Monaco, Victor Ikpeba had after the in shape stated the boys weren’t in the right psychologi- cal mind-set after rounding off the season in their more than a few golf equipment. “they have got all switched off,” Ikpeba stated.
Chukwu on his phase blamed it on the over reliance on foreign based avid gamers, insisting that the coaches will have to build the team around residence lads. Friday Ekpo, every other Nigerian ex- internation- al agrees with Chukwu.
In Ekpo’s phrases: “there are so many excellent players in the domes- tic league that can do better.” Ekpo used to be fast to add that the Eagles in the game against South Africa played with no com- mander in the middle of the p.c..
“The staff didn’t have a com- mander. anyone that will organise issues, particularly in the midfield the place John Mikel Obi always holds sway. in addition they performed with two defensive mid- fielders in Ogenyi Onazi and Wil- fred Ndidi, so there was no one to throw the killer passes to Kel- echi Iheanacho and Alex Iwobi,” Ekpo added.
plenty of pundits have additionally hinged the blame of the Uyo show of shame on the team’s goalkeeper, Dan Akpeyi who many have persevered to insist just isn’t just right sufficient to be the na- tion’s primary.
As a visibly indignant fe- male fan Eno, put it after the fit…”Chigozie Agbim is even higher than this Akpeyi.”
Many believe Akpeyi must have carried out higher when he came one on one with Tau acres far from his essential space. He (Akpeyi) should merely have impeded the South African striker. The worst that may have took place was for him to get carded and South Africa getting what would have been a risk free free kick. That way, Eagles would nonetheless have re- mained within the sport, looking for a that you can imagine equalizer with as much as 10 minutes left of play.
A have a look at South Africa’s first purpose displays that Rantie directed the header to an attitude already lined by Akpeyi. a normal goalkeeper will have to have conve- niently pulled off a just right retailer. The stumble upon was one during which Akpeyi did not make any store. It was once the woodwork that ended up saving Nigeria the embarrass- ment of now not conceding at the least three different targets. On three oc- casions, the South Africans hit the woodworks after Akpeyi had been crushed flat.
On the whole, Nigerians be- lieve the defeat used to be an eye fixed opener…a wake up call for the Eagles in advance of the more the most important Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier towards reigning African cham- pions, the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon.
Cameroon confirmed they are still very much on hearth ultimate week- end when they beat Morocco by a lone goal at home on the Amadu Ahidjo Stadium, Yaounde.