Daily Trust (Abuja)

24 January 2013

Nigeria: Eagles Must Beat Zambia to Stay Alive - Chukwu

Former Green Eagles captain, Christian Chukwu has said the Super Eagles must beat Zambia on Friday, if they are to keep their hope of winning the 2013 AFCON in South Africa alive.

On Monday, the Super Eagles started their 2013 AFCON campaign on a shaky note when they were forced to a 1-1 draw by the Stallions of Burkina Faso.

The Eagles took the lead early in the first half and held on even when they were reduced to 10 men in the 75th minute of the second half but a momentary loss of concentration in the added time of the match provided the opportunity for the Burkinables to level scores.

Speaking to Trustsports yesterday, the former Super Eagles coach said the team still stands a chance of progressing in the championship but they must beat Zambia on Friday.

He said even a draw against the Chipolopolo of Zambia will not be enough as he said only a win would put the Eagles in a better position to take on Ethiopia in their final group match.

Chukwu who captained the Green Eagles to win Nigeria's first Nations Cup in 1980 on home soil noted that the Eagles played very well in the first half but when they relaxed in the second half, the Burkinables took over the match.

"I can say that the group is starting afresh. With a point each, the teams in the group are on level terms. This means, the next matches to be played will be really tough. For the Eagles it is a must win match against Zambia. If they fail to beat Zambia on Friday, it will be difficult for them to progress.

"So I want to say Zambia is a must win for the Eagles. The Zambians are beatable but the Eagles must do what is expected of them. They must step up their performance and pick the remaining six points in order to come tops in the group", he advised.

Chukwu therefore called on Nigerian football fans not to give up on the Eagles as he said the team did not play badly against Burkina Faso and should be supported to bring glory to the country.

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