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Never say never for Eagles -Amodu

SUPER Eagles coach Shuaibu Amodu could as well go to sleep without fighting in his dreams after the barren draw he obtained in Rades, Tunisia that has brightened the chances of the Super Eagles flying to the Rainbow nation.

Ammar Jmal, right, of Tunisia and Odemwingie Osaze Peter (11) of Nigeria challenge for the ball during their World Cup group B qualifying soccer match in Tunis, Saturday, June 20, 2009, at olympic Rades stadium in Tunisia.
Ammar Jmal, right, of Tunisia and Odemwingie Osaze Peter (11) of Nigeria challenge for the ball during their World Cup group B qualifying soccer match in Tunis, Saturday, June 20, 2009, at olympic Rades stadium in Tunisia.

Amodu looked pitiable before the match in Tunsia as the weight of a football nation weighed him down. But he refused to buckle and can now heave a sigh of relief.

The Carthage Eagles of Tunsia are still on top of the Group with 7 points while Nigeria plays catch-up with five points. Amodu knows the task ahead and drummed it into the ears of his players after the hard-fought draw.

“Boys, you have come out of here with a draw but I want you to know that it is not yet time for celebration. You must go back to your Clubs and start reflecting hard on the fact that we must beat the Tunisians in Abuja, and know that we have not won that match until it is played.

“It is not yet uhuru. We must have no illusions. Nigeria will qualify for the 2010 World Cup finals on the strength of this performance but the truth is that we are not there yet”, Amodu said matter of fact to the Eagles.

The injection of new players in the Eagles obviously has brought the much needed competition that Nigerians have cried for in the team. Before this match, assistant captain Joseph Yobo, John Utaka, Dele Ayenugba and assistant coach, Daniel Amokachi were stranded in London on their way to Malta, the training base of the Eagles.

Because of flight connections, it dawned on the players that they would not partake in any training if they depend on regular flight to join their mates in Malta. The players decided to charter an aircraft to head straight to Tunis. Before now, it was a taboo for any of the players to show such amazing patrotism. But aware that their positions were up for grabs after missing the two friendly matches against Ireland and France and the 2-0 whacking of Kenya, it became imperative that they must play the match before they got consigned to history.

Amodu explained why the Eagles did not throw everything into the game to get a win in Tunis. “It’s a high-profile game and we were very cautious. We didn’t want to throw ourselves open by attacking them. It could have been dangerous conceding a goal and you start chasing them to equalise. For us, the important thing is that we now have it in our hands and it is our own to crack all the way”


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