Sunday, June 22, 2014 8:10 pm
Abuja – Ladan Bosso and Richard Bubara, two Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) coaches, on Sunday applauded the Super Eagles performance against Bosnia-Herzegovina at the ongoing World Cup in Brazil.
Speaking separately with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in the aftermath of Nigeria’s 1-0 defeat to Bosnia on Saturday, the coaches said the second group match victory had raised the hope of Nigerians.
Bosso, a former Flying Eagles coach now with Abia Warriors FC of Umuahia, said the Eagles were beginning to show character.
“There was cohesion in the team against Bosnia unlike what we saw against Iran in the first match. The team will blend as the competition progresses,’’ Bosso said.
He singled out Osaze Odewingie, scorer of the lone goal, noting that he had proved his worth in the national team.
Bosso urged Keshi to utilise Osaze’s potential even in the face of his shortcomings, saying that good players had the tendency to be stubborn.
The former Flying Eagles handler also commended Joseph Yobo’s performance in the match, saying his experience came to play.
For Bubara, the coach of Bayelsa United FC, the win was ‘‘soul-lifting” for the team as they engage Argentina in the last group game.
“I have always said that the team is not a team you can write-off so easily because they play better as a competition progresses.
“Keshi’s introduction of Osaze for 90 minutes was the tonic needed to win; you saw the role he played apart from his goal.
“Against Argentina, they should go all out; he should not keep Victor Moses on the bench. Mikel played better against Bosnia than he did against Iran. Initially, he was not moving forward and when he plays like that there will be no progressive move.
“Mikel should always put penetrating passes for the strikers to score; he did that against Bosnia. If he can do that against Argentina, we may likely top the group; Moses is explosive,’’ Bubara said.
Similarly, stakeholders in different parts of the country also commended the team for the victory, with some saying that Keshi needed to do more work.
In Bauchi, Abbas Gungura, who is the spokesman of Wikki Tourists FC, said Keshi should shun sentiments in his choice of players for the next match.
Gungura said that after the Iran-Nigeria match, Keshi threatened to bench Osaze Odemwingie who eventually scored the winner.
“To me what Keshi wanted to do could have been disastrous because you see the person he wanted to bench is the one who gave this pride to Nigeria.
On his part, Joshua Tekedek, a programme producer with the Globe FM radio in Bauchi, said the match was a success but there was a need for the team and the technical crew to work harder.
He said Keshi should work on the midfield because the midfield was losing control and that was a cause for concern.
A football fan also in Bauchi, Doris Maigari, called on Nigerians to continue to pray for the national team.
Maigari said the victory over Bosnia had boosted the morale of the team as well as that of many Nigerians.
On his part, the Secretary of the Enugu State Football Association, Sunday Ugwu, said the Eagles had finally put smiles on the faces of Nigerians.
“This is what we have been expecting from the Super Eagles; besides Odemwingie has justified his inclusion in the team.
“Eagles still need to lift up their game against Argentina. A draw will see them through, but victory will be more appreciable,” Ugwu said.
In his contribution, the spokesman of the Rangers International FC, Foster Chime, expressed happiness that the players had brightened their chance of making it to the next round.
“I love the way Odemwingie and Emmanuel Emenike terrorised the Bosnia defence, it is a sign of good things to come.
“Eagles may beat Argentina as football is not mathematics. The round of 16 is now a sure bet for the Eagles.
“This is payback time; the Eagles should prepare well and beat Argentina to break the record held by Argentina over them in major tournaments,” Chime said.
In his reaction, the Director of Information in the Enugu State Sports Council, Edwin Eze, hailed the Eagles defence and the teams’ character.
“The Eagles did what we expected from them as the African champions by converting one of their few chances and being resolute in the defence,” Eze said.