Daily Trust (Abuja)

24 January 2013

Nigeria: Okonkwo - Eagles Were Lucky Against Stallions

Nelspruit — Former Super Eagles and Enyimba of Aba midfielder Onyekachi Okonkwo yesterday said the Super Eagles were lucky to escape defeat from the hands of Burkina Faso on Monday in their opening match at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations championship in South Africa.

Okonkwo, who was a member of Enyimba's all conquering team that won the CAF Champions League back-to-back, told reporters at the Stay Easy Hotel in Nelspruit that the Nigerian side did not raise its game, especially the backline, and was only lucky to escape with a point against the more business-like Burkinabes.

Okonkwo, who just signed a three years contract with Orlando Pirates of South Africa, however said if the Eagles are able to overcome their defensive problems, they will surprise many by going far in the tournament, as attackers and midfielders show flashes of doing better in subsequent matches.

"We escaped defeat from Burkina Faso on Monday. We should be able to raise our game in the next two matches, especially the defenders; that is what we need to do to advance in the competition.

"But I have seen room for improvement in the attack and midfield in the matches against Zambia and Ethiopia. We did well and with little push, I will not be surprised to see Nigeria going far in the competition", said Okonkwo.

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