By Jacob Ajom
Stand-in chief coach of the home-based Eagles, Daniel Amokachi, is one who does not toy with words. He often times sounds evasive. But after his team defeated a very technically disciplined Senegalese team in the final of the first WAFU Nations Cup in Abeokuta, Sunday, the former Ranchers Bees forward was expansive in his mood and generous in his comments.
â€œI have been a coach for five years now. Since I won the last trophy as a player I have never picked one yet as a coach. This is my first in my coaching career and I will cherish it forever,â€Amokachi said, heaping praises on the players that made him happy on the night.
The victory did not come easy as the Teranga Lions fought back after the curtain raiser by Reuben Gabriel early in the second half. At some point the Senegalese took over the mid-field and were threatening on all fronts. Tried as they could the Eagles defence marshalled by Suswan Terna and Mutiu Adegoke, stood its grounds with Bassey Akpan behind them picking all stray balls,Amokachiâ€™s changes added power to the technical approach the team adopted as electrifying Uzoenyi Ejike replaced ineffective Uche Nwofor while injured Bartholomew Ibenegbu was replaced by Chinedu Ezimorah.
The last change that seemed to have brought in instant positives was the introduction of Chibuzor Okonkwo as the coach who was still in search of a cushioning goal had to sacrifice the exciting Ahmed Musa for the Bayelsa United defender. The Eagles surged forward and scored the second goal through captain Solomon Okpako.
The capacity crowd that included the Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel and the Minister of Sports, Isa Bio, roared excitedly in salute of the teamâ€™s gallantry