Abuja – Nigerians across the country have continued to hail the Super Eagles 2-1 victory against the Walya Antelopes of Ethiopia in Addis Ababa on Sunday.
Enugu State Director of Sports, Mr Edwin Eze, told reporters that the match was an explosive one in which the Nigerian players showed their supremacy.
“Coming from behind in a high altitudinal area like Ethiopia and winning the match is wonderful, that shows how determined the players are to make Brazil 2014,” Eze said.
Eze particularly praised Mikel Obi’s performance in the match, adding that he was the man of the match.
“From what we saw in Addis Ababa, Ethiopians should forget Brazil 2014 and dream of long distance race.’’
Eze said the Super Eagles proved their mettle and supremacy over the Walya Antelopes.
Commenting on the match, Monday Odigie, Chief Coach of Rangers International FC of Enugu, said he was happy that Nigeria won the first leg.
Odigie expressed optimism that the Eagles Technical Team would finish the job in Calabar with ease, saying football was all about 90 minutes of fun.
“From the team’s performance in Ethiopia, we will beat the Walya Antelopes in Calabar come November 16’’ Odigie said.
He recalled that the Eagles had not lost a match since the Brazil 2014 qualifying matches began, adding that it showed the players meant business.
Odigie praised Mikel for his wonderful performance and urged him to keep it up.
Mr Augustine Ezenwata, a football enthusiast, said there was the need for the Eagles to rout the Ethiopians in Calabar for their stubbornness in Addis Ababa.
“Although we have qualified even with the result, but the Ethiopians still need to be taught a lesson in Calabar for trying to wrestle with the African Champions” Ezenwata said.
Reacting to the Super Eagles victory, Joe Erico, Henry Nwosu, Christian Chukwu and Paul Hamilton, former coaches of the the Super Eagles Falcon, hailed the team for defeating the Walya Antelope of Ethiopia.
The former coaches told journalists in separate interviews in Lagos that the players and coaches were committed and motivated to succeed.
“I am glad that we won the game, although we were a bit clumsy with the ball, giving our opponent more space to play.
“I hope that our next game in Calabar would be to seal the deal and focus more, I know the antelopes are quick with the ball, but if we play right, we will get our ticket to the world cup.
“I believe in the coach and his team,’’ Erico, the former Super Eagles goalkeeper trainer said.
According to him, the team need more support as well as encouragement from football administrators and enthusiasts.
“The team need more of our support. I am not surprised that they won, because they always put up a brilliant performance, but then again they can do better.’’
In his remarks, Nwosu, a former Assistant Coach of the Super Eagles, said he had confidence that the team would win the match.
“I am very certain the coach and his boys will make the country proud as they have won the first leg, the game is not yet over.
“This is football where things can turn around, but with two goals away, I am confident that we will win the second leg.
“I am happy about our win, especially with Emenike’s brace, giving the team the zeal to put in more efforts.
“I am certain that we will put up another brilliant performance in Calabar, all the boys need now is commitment to play better. The confidence level is high enough to go all the way for a win and they need more encouragement from fans,’’ he said.
Christian Chukwu, expressed satisfaction with the performance, describing it as “wonderful’’.
“Our boys are going to go far and I believe that they will get to the final with this performance.
“They should not, however, relax or allow this to get into their heads because more hurdles are still ahead,’’ he said.
For former Head Coach of the Super Falcons, Paul Hamilton, it was a superb performance, saying “I was astonished with the level of experience displayed on the pitch.’’
“It was a good game, I pray that they remain focused in the next game, and I hope they have a good frame of mind as I pray that they get the ticket to Brazil come next year.’’
Also reacting to the Eagles victory, Mr Fan Ndubuoke, General Manager, Heartland FC of Owerri, said in spite of the Super Eagles 2-1 win against Ethiopia, the team must improve on its overall performance.
Ndubuoke said that it was important for positive results to have vibrant technical play, which he said was lacking in the encounter.
He advised the team to improve on its coordination, especially in the midfield and defense areas.
“It was a good result though, we thank God for the victory, but I wasn’t particularly comfortable with the overall performance.
“All through the match, we never played well until we got that equaliser. I believe this is a team good enough to do well at the World Cup but we must work on some key areas.
“The midfield and defense showed a lot of lapses today and these are very delicate departments in football,’’ he said.
Ndubuoke, however, noted that he was confident that the Eagles would qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil when both sides clash for the reverse fixture on Nov. 16 in Calabar.
Eket Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom, residents celebrated the Super Eagles victory by singing praises to God on the streets.
One of the fans, Mr Iboro Jackson, said it was his prayer that Nigeria would qualify for the World Cup.
“I am very happy with the Super Eagles for beating Ethiopia, at first I thought we were going to lose the match but I thank God we scaled through. Nigerians are very lucky’’ he said.
Jackson described the match as a “massive win’’, saying that the defeat would be an advantage to Super Eagles when the Antelopes visit Nigeria.
“I thank God for giving the Super Eagles victory over the Antelopes of Ethiopia side in a tough and interesting game.’’
Mr Okon David, another football fan, congratulated the Super Eagles, and said the match was an excellent performance.
“We never expected the Super Eagles to win because the Ethiopia match was an away match. The Ethiopians played very well but Nigeria won at the end,’’ he said.
In his reaction, Mr Amos Etuk, however, said “Nigeria doesn’t have a good team for the World Cup as they played averagely.”
Etuk advised Coach Stephen Keshi to look for a good team that could deliver in the World Cup proper adding, “we still do not have a good team for the World Cup. (NAN)