By Jacob Ajom
The senior national team, the Super Eagles are in Group G of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying series, alongside Egypt, Chad and Tanzania. So far, Egypt are the run away leaders with 6 points from 2 matches, while Nigeria, with four points from the same number of matches are placed second. Tanzania have 1point and Chad are in the rear with no point.
Of the four countries, only Egypt and Nigeria have hope of qualifying, with the Pharaohs having a brighter chance. But President General of the Nigerian Football Supporters Club, Dr Rafiu Ladipo has posited how the Super Eagles, who are two points adrift of the leaders can stop the Egyptians.
“The Eagles can still qualify if we do our home work,” Ladipo started. “I will advise Coach Sunday Oliseh to work hand-in-hand with his U-23 counterpart, Samson Siasia. Some of the U-23 players can play in the Eagles. Oliseh must strengthen his team with some of them.”
Continuing, Ladipo who was in Tanzania to mobilise support for the Eagles said the only way the Nigerian team can stop Egypt from qualifying for the 2017 Afcon is, “beat Egypt here then go to Cairo and hold them. Nothing matters again if we can achieve this, plus a victory over Tanzania here.”
He said the team’s poor outing in Tanzania should not be used to judge either Oliseh or his players. “We are always in a hurry to judge. You don’t judge a player by just one match. Both Oliseh and his players should be given more time to gel. Thank God they played a friendly soon after the Tanzania match. They need more of such friendlies.”
Ladipo said the Tanzania match brought up a new discovery, which should be something to cheer about. “In every situation, there are gains to be made. The Tanzanians could not score majorly because of inexperience and the excellent work by our goalkeeper. The discovery of Carl Ikeme changed the Tanzania story,” Ladipo concluded.