It is no longer news that Nigeria’s Under 23 Eagles lost the first leg of the qualifying series for the Under 23 Afcon yesterday by a lone goal.
Though we can say this is a respectable result considering the fact that the Dream team still have the opportunity to redeem their image in the second leg next Tuesday in Asaba, Delta state. However, we can still use this opportunity to check out the reasons why they lost and what can be done between now and Tuesday so that Nigeria will not miss out of the Under 23 Afcon and also the Olympics.
The Eagles lost because, as usual, the foreign based players were hurriedly brought together. They did not have enough time to play as a team before the encounter. I have no problem with inviting the foreign based players but we should ensure that the hub of the team is from our local league especially at this level of football.
The forwards, the likes of Taiwo Awoniyi and Steve Odey, of the Under 23 eagles were wasteful in front of goal. The Coach should look into this. I hope we are not going to press the panic button again by hurriedly bringing the likes of Victor Oshimen into the team.
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Agreed it worked the last time but it may not always work every time.
The Coaches should also get their tactics right. If you are bringing in foreign based players into the team at short notice, then you have to get your tactics right or else you will be there to lick your wounds.
The second leg of the Under 23 Eagles Afcon qualifiers comes up next Tuesday in Asaba, Delta State Nigeria.
About the Author
Pius Ajadi is a graduate of Mass communication. He is passionate about sports. He is married with kids.
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