By Onochie Anibeze
President of Nigeria Football Federation Aminu Maigari and his vice Chief Mike Umeh rose from their seats and almost simultaneously said “we have won but we still have a lot of work to do.”
They voiced almost the same opinion of those who sat around them at the Abuja National Stadium Sunday when the Eagles hammered Ethiopia 4_0 in the Nations Cup qualifier.
Particularly of interest was the first half when the Eagles, through Peter Utaka, scored in the first minute but had almost nothing to show in the rest of the half.
They could not make expected runs as Victor Anichebe looked heavy, Utaka committed mistakes and Obina Nsofor was playing for himself and not for the team. But when in the second half changes were made it was clear that Samson Siasia and his entire team were all in a transition period.
They are all learning from each other in the building process. Utaka scored another goal and Ike Uche, a substitute tapped in the third while on the ground in a scramble and later struck a sensational television goal that many cheered even while walking out of the stadium. It was the tonic moment of the match.
“We are happy that the goals came. But we have a lot of work to do and I am happy that the coach and players know about this,” Maigari said, adding “there will be more infusion of players into the team and changes will continue until we get there.”
Chief Umeh said that what delighted him were the options for Siasia to make following the players he would draw from the Under 20 and the Olympic teams.
“Those boys that Siasia invited and later left for the Olympic team are very good. That’s why I’m happy that they will play against Kenya on Tuesday so that all will see them. We are building a team and it will take time. So, expect more from us.”
Siasia had said that the goals made his day and that the building process was on.