Vanguard (Lagos)

9 September 2012

Nigeria/Liberia: Eagles Draw, Good Result Say Fans

Photo: http://www.roadto2010.com/
Nigeria Super Eagles football fans (File Photo)

Mixed reactions trailed the 22 draw the Super Eagles played with Liberia the Lone Stars in Monrovia on Saturday in the qualifying round of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Some Super Eagles fans hailed the 2-2 draw, while some felt that the Eagles should not have conceded the last minute goal which helped the host to force them to a two-all draw.

The Liberians scored in the early minutes of the first half before Nigeria's Nosa Igiebor leveled out scores and went ahead to establish a 2-1 lead.

Christian Chukwu, a former Green Eagles Captain said that the 2-2 draw was a plus for the Eagles.

"The result was not bad, we have chances ahead of the Lone Stars of Liberia".

Chukwu expressed optimism that the Eagles would qualify for the 2013 AFCON. He said that things would be put in order during the return leg.

But Coach Henry Nwosu, a former Super Eagles captain, said that he was disappointed that the team conceded a late goal after leading 2-1.

"I am not happy at our constant lack of concentration at the dying minutes of matches. However, the boys did well and should be commended, in spite of the draw," he said.

Nwosu stressed that he would expect an outright victory during the second leg on home soil.

Oyekale Oladunni, the coach of Crown FC of Ogbomosho, said he was disappointed at the result, even though he knew it was not an easy match.

"It was never going to be easy to defeat a team at home. It wasn't a bad result," he said.

He advised that the players should not be disappointed as they would have a chance during the return leg, to ensure victory for the country.

From Abakaliki, Hillary Obiesie, Secretary to Ebonyi Sports Council, said that the Liberians made life uncomfortable for the Eagles.

"The team was given a substandard hotel on arrival in Liberia, which it rejected, booed all round by the Liberian fans, denied the use of floodlights to train at the country's stadium.

"Considering the fact that the team arrived in Monrovia a day to the encounter, all these factors contributed in unsettling the team," he said.

He advised the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) to ensure that the nation's teams travel in good time, so as to get used to home team's antics.

Desmond Ome, Secretary to Ebonyi Football Association, commended the team for the draw game "as there are no longer minnows in international soccer.

"The era when bigger teams maul perceived smaller teams are over, as several countries have improved in their playing standard".

Chief Linus Nwonu, Coordinator, Ikwo East Development Centre in Ikwo Local Government Area of Ebonyi, advised Coach Stephen Keshi to fortify his defence before the crucial return leg in October.

Mrs Stella Uguru, a civil servant, urged relevant soccer authorities and fans not to put undue pressure on the team during the return leg, to avoid costly mistakes.

(NAN)

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