June 1, 2014

Ezeji: Eagles will not fumble

UNITED KINGDOM, London : Nigeria’s striker Shola Ameobi (L) vies with Scotland’s defender Charlie Mulgrew (R) during the international friendly football match between Nigeria and Scotland at Craven Cottage in London on May 28, 2014, ahead of the FIFA World Cup . AFP PHOTO

By Eddie Akalonu

Former ‘Olympic Eagles’ striker, Victor Ezeji has given kudos to the Super Eagles for holding themselves high in Wednesday’s international friendly against Scotland which ended 2-2. He said the team had a good game given the fact that the line up was different from that which won the African Cup of Nations in South Africa last year.

“I believe coach Keshi has an objective for deviating from the regular line up we are used to, meaning he has a vision for the team. And for the fact the boys gave a good account of themselves gives hope for the world cup in Brazil and I hope they can keep the momentum so they can meet the target set by Keshi and actualize our hopes and aspiration on this particular world cup.”

As Nigerians wait on Keshi to roll out the players finally for Brazil next week, Ezeji, who is a twice winner of the CAF Champions League 2003 and 2004 with Enyimba and also the FA Cup 2006 and 2007 with Dolphins, then posited that “with what I have seen of the team, any of those players in the 30 man provisional list whether home based or foreign is good enough to make the 23 man final list for the world cup proper. I trust that they will pull off a surprise and be able to go far in the competition.

Also former national goalkeeper, Joseph Dosu,  asked Nigerians to assess the strength of the Super Eagles when they play the U.S. in an international friendly match.

Dosu said that the Eagles would put up a better performance against U.S. compared to their 2-2 encounter with Scotland on Wednesday.
“The whole of Nigeria expects the Super Eagles to do well in the World Cup because we are the reigning African champions

“The friendly against Scotland was not 100 per cent but we still have two more games ahead and we should assess them with the encounter against the Americans.

“By the time we play U.S., the team would have blended well and this would help them to play and understand themselves better.  At the forthcoming World Cup, I see Nigeria getting to the semi-finals,” he said.

The 1996 Atlanta Olympic gold medalist, who is into football management, said that he now runs a football academy in Belgium.
“We have produced a lot of players not just in Nigeria alone but also in Europe.

“We have people from our academy that play in Norway, Ukraine, Portugal and Belgium. The academy is doing well and I’m sure we will spot talents in Badagry soon,” Dosu said.