Nigeria vs Atletico Madrid – Football fans in Ebonyi have lent support to the calls for Super Eagles Team B to be used as the main team’s feeder after Russia 2018 World Cup.
The fans expressed their support in Abakaliki while reacting to the team’s impressive performance against Atletico Madrid FC of Spain in Tuesday’s GOtv MAX Cup in Uyo.
Atletico Madrid, the current Europa League champions won the international friendly match played at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium or “Nest of Champions Stadium’’ 3-2 to lift the competition’s maiden trophy.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the game is part of the collaboration between the Nigerian League Management Committee (LMC) and the Spanish La liga.
Sam Mgbada, a former Ebonyi Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development, told NAN the players were impressive, adding that many of them deserve places in the Russia-bound Eagles.
“The players played with confidence which left many fans wondering if they were actually from the domestic league and little known clubs across Europe.
“They were unlucky that the match was played after the release of the main team’s World Cup provisional list because many of them could have made the team,’’ he said.
Jones Okafor, who played for the defunct Nitel Vasco Dagama of Enugu, urged the NFF to utilise the match’s positives by ensuring that the team replaced the main team flops in Russia.
“The players’ impressive performance against Atletico Madrid affords the NFF, the luxury of strengthening the main team after the World Cup instead of inviting fresh players across the globe.
“Effective combination of the main team’s performers with those of the Team B, will result in a fortified Super Eagles capable of qualifying and winning the AFCON 2019 in Cameroon,’’ he told NAN.
Chikezie Ubah, Technical Adviser, Renaissance FC, Afikpo, noted that players such as the Kelechi Nwakali brothers and Ebube Duru among others deserved slots in the main team.
“Chidebere Nwakali’s performance in holding the midfield could have solved the main team’s problems with the injury to Wilfred Ndidi and Ogenyi Onazi’s recent display.
“The performance of his younger brother, Kelechi in the attacking midfield role could have complemented Mikel Obi’s effort in the position with injuries to Joel Obi among others,’’ he said.
Another soccer buff, Josiah Aligwe, however, warned against undue pressure on Coach Gernot Rohr over the inclusion of players that impressed in the match in the main team.
“Rohr complied with FIFA’s directive of submitting the provisional list for the World Cup; he wisely stuck with the team that qualified the country for the Mundial.
“The Team B players adopted the mentality of impressing the fans to lay claim for the main team’s shirts and it will be unfair to over-rate them with a one match performance,’’ he said.
Collaborating Aligwe’s assertion, a soccer enthusiast, Joyce Okwudini, called for more support to the team with prayers as the round up preparations for the World Cup.
“The players earned the coach’s trust by qualifying for the World Cup and if properly encouraged, can replicate and even surpass the performances of the Team B.
“The Team B players should look beyond the World Cup, maintain their present forms to lay claims for shirts in the main team,’’ she said. (NAN)