Isaac Olamikan, Benin City
If the Super Eagles do not lift their game in their final faceoff with the Ghana Black Stars at the Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja, on Tuesday, March 29, 2022, they would be out of the Qatar 2022 World.
The Super Eagles should be adequately prepared for this deciding match if really they want to be part of world cup.
Though Nigerians are beginning to lose faith in their games, but never mind anything can happen.
On paper, the Nigerian National Team is rated higher than the Ghanaians. But when it matters most on the field of play they are under achievers.
Statistics recorded during the first leg match held at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi, Ghana, showed that the Black Stars had an edge over Super Eagles as they had higher ball possession .
The Black Stars also had higher rate of successful ball passing. On shots at goal, corner kicks, they also did better than our great Super Eagles.
Going down memory lane. Watch once again the group of 16 match between the Super Eagles and Tunisia at the last AFCON in Cameroon. Before their game against the Super Eagles, the Tunisians under performed losing to outranked outsiders in the group stage.
When they met Nigeria all they needed to do was just to push the ball among themselves, look for an opening and shot at the goal.
The weak shot, to the surprise of everybody watching the game and indeed the player who made the attempt slipped into the net, passed the grip of Nigeria’s goaltender, Maduka Okoye.
The smart Tunisians held on to the advantage until the referees blast of the whistle signifying an end to the match.
Prior to the Tunisians cheap shot at the Nigerians goal, the Super Eagles had opportunity to call the attention of the centre referee to an infringement in the Tunisians goal area which if they did would most probably have resulted in a penalty kick .
If such penalty kick was scored, it would have killed the fighting spirit in the North Africans and given Nigeria an unassailable edge.
But the Super Eagles in their typical way of raising their shoulders did not make any complain. What a way to lose a fight while the opportunity for a win presents itself on a platter of gold.
It won’t be out of place if the team is tutored in the psychology aspect of competing for a high stake in sports meets. Having a Psychologist attached to the Super Eagles would not be out of place. Such experts should be given the task of bringing out the best in the footballers at all times.
Football is acclaimed as the King of sports and we should put our steps on the right pedal to get the good results that we seek for and which will separate us from other teams who ordinarily see us as giants but whom we have by way of our inconsistency on the field of play have present ourselves as pretenders to greatness.
Augustine Eguavoen should know that his management of the affairs of the Super Eagles as the head of the coaching crew is a passport that his local colleagues need to get the recognition that they have always cried for and which many say they deserve.