First Vice President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Chief Mike Umeh was one of thousands of Nigerians that stayed awake in the early hours of Thursday to watch the Super Eagles take on fellow World Cup qualifiers, Mexico in Atlanta, USA.
The encounter which Umeh described as “fierce and frenetic” ended goalless after 90 minutes. Although the NFF chieftain expressed satisfaction with the performance of the Eagles, he felt the attack was not potent enough.
“They missed a couple of one-on-one chances with the Mexican goalkeeper. I think Emenike was not in the game or he was marked out. He should have got at least a goal from the numerous chances he had,” Umeh said.
Could Ike Uche have made a difference if he were in the team? Chief Umeh who spoke through the telephone said he could not give a direct answer to the question. “Coach Keshi should provide the answer, not me. On a personal note I think he(Keshi) should reconsider his stance on Ike Uche. No matter how bad a child is, you cannot throw away the baby with bath water. Ike Uche’s inclusion will give the Eagles enough attacking options. But the buck stops on Keshi’s desk,” he said.
Back to the friendly between Mexico and Eagles, Chief Umeh said he was impressed with the performance of Germany based Leon Balogun. “Before he was injured he did very well in the defence. Our problem was the right back where Efe Ambrose was manning. He was running too deep and at times forgot his defensive duties.”
He said the tempo of the match was high. “The speed was something else. The two teams played as if it was more than a friendly encounter. It was a good match,” Umeh summarised.