Brazil 2014: Abuja football fans express disappointment with Eagles over 0-2 loss to France
Abuja – A cross-section of football fans in Abuja on Monday expressed disappointment with the Super Eagles over their loss to France at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
France beat Nigeria 2-0 in their Round of 16 match to progress to the quarter-finals after a hard-fought game.
The deadlock was broken by Paul Pogba, after a goalkeeping error by the otherwise-excellent Vincent Enyeama.
Joseph Yobo’s own goal finished things off in stoppage time at the end of the match at Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha.
A cross-section of football fans who spokeafter the match however noted that even though the players gave a good fight, the team did not look organised.
They said the team lacked technical and tactical depth.
Ebere Okechukwu, a sports analyst, said: “We started well, but the tactical approach of the coach was nothing impressive. He was clueless and confused.
“Going forward, I don’t think coach Stephen Keshi is the guy for this team. But, first and foremost, we must put our house in order before aspiring for greater heights in the World Cup,’’ he said.
Ernest Frank, a businessman, blamed the coach for the team’s loss, saying Nigeria did not lose the game because of lack of quality players, but rather because of the coach.
“Keshi needs to go back to coaching school.
“I said it too many times that Emmanuel Emenike and Mikel Obi were the weakest link in the team right from all the friendly matches, yet the coach did nothing about it.
“Each time Emenike got the ball, he either fell down after running like a pregnant woman or he wasted it. A good coach would have substituted him in this game.
“Mikel on the other hand was too casual and gave away the ball too easily on many occasions, thereby allowing the French to pile on too much pressure on our defence,’’ Frank said.
Tunde Adesina, an engineer, said Keshi should have accepted the technical assistance of Dutch coach Clemens Westerhof and utilised his experience of a competition of such big nature.
“We needed the experience of someone like Westerhof to take us through the knockout round, because this game was ours. But we lost it because this team was deficient in technical knowledge.
“We outplayed the French, but then again that is football. Sometimes you win some and other times you lose some.
“It wasn’t our day today (Monday) and as Nigerians, we all feel bad about it.
“Nevertheless, no matter what has happened today. I salute the Super Eagles for at least reaching the round of 16 after a very long time.
“I think, it is a sign of good things to come in Nigerian football,” he said.
Sam Ibozi, a civil servant, rued the Super Eagles’ missed opportunities, adding that in football when one fails to take his chances, he always pay for it at the end.
“I knew Nigeria would be tired in the second half, especially after that unfortunate ankle injury suffered by Ogenyi Onazi. But that is why we should have taken our chances in the first half.
“We could have easily scored two or three goals in the first half. But we didn’t and had to pay the price at the end.
“However, I think Emenike’s goal was a legitimate one and the foul on Osaze Odemwingie was a clear penalty kick, but the referee did not think so.’’
The tournament which kicked off on June 12 will end on July 13.