Nigerians hail Eagles win, fault Rohr’s first eleven
By Femi Atolagbe
Nigerians poured encomium on Super Eagles narrow win over new entrant, Swallows in battle of Burundi in their opening fixture of the African Cup of Nations in Egypt.
The winning placed them currently on top of the log B table with three points, after Guinea and Madagascar played 2-2 draw.
While praising them for the spirited efforts to humbled the resilience of the sturbon Burundi they faulted Rohr’s first eleven.
Thanks to Super second half substitute, Odion Jude Ighalo’s 77th minute goal humbled the minnows in Alexandra stadium in Egypt.
Ighalo’s exclusion from the starting lineup came as a shock to many considering his form in the qualifiers where he finished as top scorer with nine goals and he once again showed his predatory instinct with the manner which he took his goal.
Gernot Rohr’s men find it very difficult to ease pass the Burundi in the first half of the keenly contested encounter until the introduction of the same Ighalo he benched who separated the boys from men in the 77th minute.
The “Swallows in battle” has been ranked as minnows before the commencement of the competition being a new entrants in the African cup of Nation.
But the Saido Berahino inspired team’s showed no sign of newcomer in their displayed against Super Eagles that were rated 89places above them in the FIFA world rankings, they have made a statement that they are not minnows through their impressive displayed in the group B game opener.
The Swallows had qualified from a very tough group that had Gabon, Mali, they came through unbeaten in the qualifiers en route to Egypt showpiece.
Some of the Eagles fans that spoke to the Sporting Hope said “Daniel Akpeyi was not good enough particularly in his ball handling.
According to Karimu Michael a civil servant and football enthusiast opined that the former Chelsea midfielder and current Super Eagles captain, Mikel Obi should start the next match from the bench to allow the much younger once do the job.
He added that the coach selection almost cost us the game, no bite from Mikel ,no ball movement, he slowed the team’s attack.
“As for me, bar the Goalkeeper, the team that played the last 15minutes should start. I can even allow Akpeyi to be in goal but not Mikel or Onuachu. We all watched how Mikel was slowing our attack, he plays like a pregnant woman”, he said.
Adedeji Tayo, felt the goal keeper was poor and lacked much confidence, chukwueze needs to attack the opposition more from the flank and Ndidi still remains our most valuable player , I think Onyekuru should be given a chance.
Super Eagles is looking forward to face another test on Wednesday when they tackle Guinea in their second match.