By Onochie Anibeze
While hosting the Eagles to a dinner after their 3-0 victory over Kenya Sunday night,Â Â Governor Rotimi Amaechi, in congratulating the team, still pointed out how tensed he became at the time Kenya started tormenting the Eagles but simply lacking a goal to show for it. Amaechi said he expected the kind of match he saw the Eagles play against France at Saint Etienne. Eagles won 1-0 and the players tried to display skill during the game.
Amodu explained to this reporter why the Abuja match was different from what they performed in France.
â€œWe couldnâ€™t have played the way we did in France. The weather factor should be considered. It was good for our players. But it was different here in Abuja. Again, the opposition was different. Friendly match remains a friendly match. Kenya were competing for a World Cup place and the spirit and commitment from both sides will be different from a friendly match situation. But watch and see what happens in Tunisia. I think that we will play better than we did here in Abuja. But note that the game of the opposition somehow determines how good or bad you play. Weâ€™ll continue to adapt until we get the right chemistry.
Against Kenya, Amodu dropped some key players. They may return if they work hard to earn back their shirts. But it will really be tough for the likes of Taiye Taiwo considering the way Elderson Echiejile played in France and in Abuja.
Dickson Etuhu, playing in Nigeria for the first time, hard tough times with the weather and even pleaded to be changed. He played in front of Seyi Olofinjana but because of the hot weather, the Fulham player was not as adventurous asÂ was expected of him and that didnâ€™t help the attack of the Eagles. Itâ€™s likely to be different in Tunisia. Olubayo Adefemi had been pencilled to start the game in Abuja. He suddenly fell ill and was even on drips few hours to the game. Yusuf Mohammed stepped in to take his place. It may likely be different in Tunisia.
Against all these backgrounds Amodu developed the confidence that Eagles will play better in Tunisia, the match all believe will determine,Â between Nigeria and Tunisia, who will be in South Africa for the 2010 World Cup.