Abuja – Football fans in the country have hailed Super Eagles Saturdays 1-0 victory over debutants Bosnia-Herzegovina in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brasil.
The Deputy Senate President, Sen. Ike Ekweremadu, congratulated the Super Eagles on their hard-won victory over the Dragons of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
This is contained in a statement issued by Mr Uche Anichukwu, his Special Adviser (Media) in Abuja on Sunday.
Ekweremadu noted that it was a night that the Nigerian side found their rhythm to the delight of all football loving fans.
“This is a very important victory after 16 years of drought at the FIFA World Cup and after the hard start against the Iranians,’’Ekeremadu said.
He described the victory as highly deserving and noted that the team was a much more hard-fighting, confident, brilliant, mobile, blended, and entertaining Super Eagles.
The depute senate president expressed the hope that the victory would give the team the needed confidence and elixir to bring down the Argentines from their high horse.
Ekweremadu was optimistic that the Argentines were beatable, their array of stars notwithstanding.
He, therefore, urged Nigerians to support and pray for the Super Eagles.
The Director of Competitions, Nigeria Football Association (NFA), Mohammed Sanusi, advised the team to be more purposeful in front of goal.
Sanusi said on Sunday that the African champions created chances which they did not utilise.
Osaze Odemwingie’s 29 minute goal gave the Super Eagles the needed three points in a must win match for both teams.
“The win is a dream come true because one cannot underrate any country because in football, it is not over until it is over.
“We all saw what Iran did to Nigeria and also to Argentina, and this is a country that many people believe are just in that group to give others points but that was not to be.
“Right now, I believe the coaches have watched very keenly and noticed areas where they need to work on.
“But one thing I notice about the defence is that the Bosnia-Herzegovina wanted to commit our players into fouling inside or close to the 18 yard box which they did not submit to, so I must commend them for that.
“Upfront, we need to be more purposeful and take our chances because when you lose your chance you are likely to put yourself at risk.
“We had opportunities that we did not make use of, so we need to be taking our chances,’’ Sanusi said.
He also noted that the connection between the attack and the midfield should be improved upon before the team’s next match against Argentina.
“The connection between the midfield and the attack need to be improved upon. The midfielders have done a good job; they need to cement that relationship between the attack and the midfield.
“So that by the time we play Argentina, we can beat them and probably top our group,’’ the Director of Competitions, said.
Sanusi was optimistic that that in spite of the Super Eagles’ poor start they would win the trophy.
Coach Kasimawo Laloko, a former NFA Technical Director, who spoke in Abeokuta, commended, Vincent Enyeama, for putting up a good show to win the Nigeria/Bosnia match.
Laloko said in a telephone interview shortly after the match, that the goalkeeper’s dexterity and resilience kept Nigeria in the lead.
He said the match was “not spectacular” but it was better than the Iran match.
“I say congratulations to Nigeria. If all goes well, I’ll say we’re crossing to the round of 16, but we have to get a draw at least in our next match against Argentina,’’ Laloko said.
He also commended Coach Stephen Keshi for his selection for the match, saying it was better than the first one.
He, however, said that Victor Moses should have replaced Onazi Ogenyi in the match.
“I don’t see what Onazi has done there; the guy was just running about; he should use key players who are very resourceful and can do anything, anywhere at any time.
“The combination of Moses and Osaze will help this team to go places,’’ the Pepsi Football Academy boss, said.
Also, a former Green Eagles Midfielder, Felix Owolabi, urged the Super Eagles not to rest on its oars in the team’s bid to qualify for the next round of the World Cup.
Owolabi said in Lagos on Sunday that there was improvement in the team’s coordination as well as level of confidence.
“At this point in time the team needs to keep working towards perfect, they should not rest on their oars. We want to see the team in the next round they can do better.
“The players have done well by listening to instructions they should be commended,’’ Owolabi said.
On areas the handlers of the team should work on in the team, Owolabi called on Keshi to beef up the defence and midfield.
“Our defenders still have more to do, we are lucky to have Enyeama on the goal post if not we might have conceded a goal or more yesterday.
“The midfield need to be coordinated too, not forgetting our attackers, chances are being created for them but they need to utilise it by converting it into goals,” he added.
However, football fans in Okitipupa, Ondo State, on Sunday also expressed dissatisfaction over Nigeria’s 1-0 win over Bosnia.
They said that the Super Eagles missed lots of chances which supposed to have been converted to goals.
They, however, said the team should exhibit confidence and team spirit in their next match against Argentina.
Kunle Adaraloju, a football fan, said that he was not satisfied with the Eagles 1-0 win against Bosnia, adding that they supposed to score more goals.
“Eagles are not in their best against Bosnia because they did not play like the Eagles we use to know, luck was only on our side for the 1-0 win,’’ Adaraloju said.
Kazeem Ramon, another football fan, who also expressed shock over Eagles-Bosnia match, said that the Eagles could not convert most of the scoring chances.
“Eagles refused to make use of their goals advantage against Bosnia, they wasted lots of chances which was not good enough for us,’’ Ramon he said.
The Eagles, who are now having four points and ranked behind Argentina who has six points in the group F would slug it out on June 25. (NAN)