Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria/Cote d'Ivoire: Ex-Internationals Task Eagles On Cote d'Ivoire

Some ex-internationals on Wednesday said the Super Eagles should work harder to move beyond the quarter-final stage at the ongoing Africa of Cup of Nations (AFCON) in South Africa.

The ex-players, who described the team's qualification to the second round of the competition as a narrow escape, said that so far, they had not played as a team.

Christian Chukwu, a former Green Eagles Captain to the 1980 Nation's Cup in Lagos which Nigeria won, told NAN that the most important thing was that they qualified for the quarter-final.

"I can rate them above average but still much has to be done. They have yet to show that they are the side to win the competition after three matches," Chukwu said.

Ifeanyi Udeze, who played under Coach Shuaibu Amodu in the Mali 2002 AFCON, expressed his dissatisfaction with the team's performance and advised them to improve.

"The team needs to be careful if they are going to bring something back home. Currently they are not playing together as a team.

"If they continue like this against their next opponents, they may end up losing to them.

Yisa Sofoluwe, ex-Green Eagles, expressed fears over the team's ability to qualify for the semi-finals over Cote d'Ivoire and urged them to beat the Ivorians.

"They have qualified for the next round which is a plus for them. However, it has not been a performance we expected, going by the quality we know they possess.

"They need to raise their game if they are to get past Cote d'Ivoire and land in the semi-finals.

"They have to work together as a team who are determined to win," Sofoluwe said. For former Super Eagles player, Friday Ekpo, the team lacked the necessary agility that distinguished every Super Eagles team. He charged them to be more serious in their attack.

"The team's points man was side-lined by the Ethiopians who are a weaker team, compared to our next opponents in the quarter-finals.

"They have yet to play well and deliver the goals which will count at the end, they just need to be more serious on the pitch," Ekpo said.

The Super Eagles battle the Elephants of Cote d'Ivoire for a place in the semi-finals on Sunday, while Burkina Faso who qualified ahead of defending champions Zambia, play the winner between Togo and Tunisia.

NAN

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