Wednesday, June 4, 2014 2:27 pm
Abuja – Some football enthusiasts on Wednesday in Abuja urged the Super Eagles’ handlers to work on the team’s defence for it to excel at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
The enthusiasts said this against the backdrop of the team’s goalless draw in their international friendly against Greece on Tuesday in Philadelphia, U.S.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the match was part of both teams’ preparations for the 2014 World Cup finals starting in Brazil on June 12.
The football enthusiasts, however, told NAN in separate interviews that the team put up a good performance.
Fatima Yusuf, a school teacher, said the match was a good test for the Super Eagles towards the World Cup, stating that it exposed their lapses.
“The match was a good test, owing to the fact that it exposed our lapses and this is part of the essence of a friendly game.
“But, the team’s defence needs to be worked on if the Eagles are to qualify for the second round,” she said.
Alphonsus Azubuike, a businessman, said the team had done well, but that there was still room for improvement.
“I think they have tried their best, but they can still do better than what they did against Greece. The defence is not okay for a World Cup-bound team.
“And Vincent Enyeama really proved himself as our number one goalkeeper, because he saved many shots, and the midfielders and attackers deserve commendation,” he said.
Kosiso Agulefo, a tailor, on his part said “the team should work on its finishing, because it may not be able to get many chances at the World Cup as they got against Greece”.
He said a lot of work needed to be done because such opportunities rarely come during the tournament proper. “So, they should be able to convert the ones they have.
“Also, it was obvious that the team has not been working on set-pieces, which can be of a great advantage when converted.
“And there seems to be less understanding among our forwards. This needs to be checked,” Agulefo said.
Uchenna Osita, a student, said the team played well compared to their friendly match against Scotland on May 28, but that they needed to improve on the defence.
“The team tried. They played well, compared to their match against Scotland. Victor Moses did well too, though his play was casual.
“As for Osaze Odemwingie, he made a lot of mistakes which made his passes inaccurate, probably because of the pressure to impress. Generally, we tried except for the defence which is poor,” he said.
NAN reports that Nigeria will take on the U.S. in their last pre-World Cup international friendly match on June 7.
The Super Eagles have been drawn in Group F with Iran, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Argentina in the 32-team tournament.
Nigeria will face Iran on June 16 in the first group match, Bosnia-Herzegovina on June 21 in the second match and Argentina on June 25 in the last Group F match.