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Lagerback hatches secret plot to end Greek odyssey

By Tony Uabni, in Souh Africa
Super Eagles coach, Lars Lagerback is keeping everyone guessing about his plans for the World Cup Group B match with Greece on Thursday, training in seclusion on the Indian Ocean coast since the team’s defeat by Argentina.

*GETTING SET... Eagles in training yesterday ahead of Greece match on Thursday. Photo: Sylva Eleanya in South Africa.

Both sides desperately need points from the clash in Bloemfontein’s Free State Stadium to keep alive their hopes of reaching the second round. The omens do not favour the Greeks.

Nigeria have largely kept their own counsel at their camp at Richards Bay north of Durban, founded as a British army base for their campaign against the Zulus in the 19th Century.

The Super Eagles could take some encouragement from Saturday’s 1-0 defeat against an adventurous Argentina side in Johannesburg, a game lit up by Lionel Messi.

Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama made a series of excellent saves, a stubborn defence helped keep the score down, and the attack caused the South Americans sporadic problems.

Fortunately, fullback Taye Taiwo recovered quickly after being taken off injured and resumed training on Sunday.
Nigeria’s Swedish coach Lars Lagerback will have to decide whether to stick with Chinedu Obasi on the right side of the attack, after he started promisingly but tired quickly and was replaced by the experienced Peter Odemwingie on the hour.

Although a perennial powerhouse in African soccer, Nigeria have struggled to blend seasoned veterans with the younger generation. Lagerback was appointed in February after Shaibu Amodu’s sacking but has only worked with the players since May.

However, they can count on the support not only of the many Nigerians in South Africa but also across a continent dreaming of an African triumph in the first World Cup it has hosted.
All four of Nigeria’s World Cup wins have been against European opposition including a 2-0 win over Greece in 1994.


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