Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: Fans Urge Eagles to Sustain Performance

Abuja — Some football fans on Saturday in Abuja advised the Super Eagles to sustain their current level of performance at the 2013 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in South Africa.

The Eagles beat Liberia's Lone Star 6-1 at the U.J. Esuene Stadium in Calabar on Saturday to qualify for the competition.

Some of the fans spoke in separate interviews in reaction to the win, a second leg match in the final round of the 2013 AFCON qualifiers.

Secretary of Nigerian Women Professional League (NWPL), Danlami Alanana, said the players did Nigerians proud with their performance which gave them an 8-3 aggregate win.

He however advised that they should further convince many football followers that they did not qualify on a platter of gold.

"They did Nigerians proud and I hope they will sustain their performance in the course of the competition in South Africa.

"This is because it is not just about playing Liberia and qualifying for the competition.

"All we want now is for the players to show the world that they did not qualify on a platter of gold.

"They should improve on their performance so that we can be a force to reckon with, once again, in football," Alanana said.

He however commended the efforts of the team's overseas-based players and advised the technical crew to be more tactical and help the players to remain focused.

"The foreign-based players really proved their worth and you will discover that they really brought about some difference in the game.

"I will say their call-up was justified to a large extent, because the level of the game was high and they showed high level of seriousness.

"I want to advise the technical crew that they should not relax in their work, because this is just the beginning and the crew has to be more tactical," Alanana, who is a staff of the Nigeria Football Association (NFA), said.

A football coach in the FCT, Maruf Adeyemo, said the Eagles should always show more seriousness and determination during any game.

He said he would be expecting the team to display such quality at the AFCON finals in South Africa next year.

"They (the Eagles) played a good game. But based on what they played, they were too confident of winning and I think we should not toy with this kind of game next time.

"I commend coach Stephen Keshi's effort of blending the home-based players with their overseas-based counterparts.

"If you look back at the first leg game in Liberia which had ended 2-2 last month, it was basically a team of the home-based, while today's is a blend of the two.

"A Sunshine Stars player and a Warri Wolves defender also played in the defence, and this shows that the coach has confidence in the Nigerian League.

"As for me, a Nigerian player is a Nigerian player as long as you can restore the lost glory for this country and be able to justify being called to play," Adeyemo said.

A youth corps member, Felix Nwagwu, said the Eagles should improve on converting their scoring chances to goals.

"They missed a lot of scoring chances, even though they won. But they played a very good game and they were composed.

"But they should have scored more goals than they did. They should be more focused.

"They also need to change the attitude we saw in somebody like Victor Moses, who in spite of playing well was complacent towards the end of the match.

"He was no longer serious as the game went towards its end, because he felt his side was winning. But no matter how small a team is, they should never be underrated.

"Our players should play all games to the best of their ability and not take any chances at all.

"However, I commend the other players, especially the overseas-based ones. It appears that when they are invited to play crucial matches like this one, they will give their best performance," he said.

The 2013 African Cup of Nations in South Africa will hold from Jan. 19 to Feb. 10.(NAN)

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