Sun, 19 Sep 2021

 

2022: Eagles On A Good Start
 
By: Cletus Sunday Ilobanafor
Sat, 11 Sep 2021   ||   Nigeria,
 

The Super Eagles of Nigeria have started their World Cup qualifying campaign on a good note having beaten Li­beria 2 – 0 and Cape Verde 2 -1. Although the match against Liberia was consolidated at home while Cape Verde were thrashed on away, which made the Eagles’ two legs an interesting one in Group D.

No doubt, the matches for the Mundial qualifications have always been an easy task in recent times for the nation­al team since Gernot Rohr has been contracted to be in charge of the team. No one will be surprised to see the Eagles pick a ticket to berth for the Qatar 2022 FIFA Mundial. In this regard, it’s expected that the Nigerian side will emerge from that supposed group of death.

The Coach of the Eagles knows quite well that he has a very serious task at hand by making sure that the Eagles are able to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. There­fore, it’s no gainsaying that the team must live up to the expectation reposed in them by Nigerians to qualify in the first place.

The team’s qualification for both the AFCON and FIFA Championships has become a cliché; therefore, what Nige­rians want to see is a spec­tacular performance of the team at the stages proper. Of course, Rohr has not been able to pick the AFCON’s gold trophy neither getting to the second round of the mundial since his resumption.

The team’s method of play both at competitive or friend­ly matches have always left Nigerians in awe, given their lackadaisical play in most cas­es which had always caused critics in rebuking the Ger­man-born manager for poor performance. This situation was evident in the match against Cape Verde. It was glaring that the Eagles were not spectacular in that en­counter as one of the Eagle’s goals came from the host.

We have always celebrat­ed the Eagles’ qualification for a major championship. However, their performance proper is one reason football bedfellows now believe that qualifying for any major tourney is not the issue but coming out in flying colours; as this had always been their bane. The Eagles qualifica­tion for any tourney has been tagged a cliché. So, Nigerians have always been looking beyond this stage, but how much they could hold on to their own has re­mained a mirage when all the teams across the conti­nent of the world gather for the battle of supremacy!

The Nigeria Football Fed­eration must be up and doing this time around if the Eagles pick a ticket for Qatar. It’s sufficed to say that the Ea­gles only achievement is just mere qualification. The team should be able to advance fur­ther from their mediocrity on the world stage. It has never been palatable at all the way Nigeria has always been exit­ed from some of these major tourneys.

Having said so, the coach must know his players inside out this time as the world cup proper is not the pitch for ex­perimentation. It is the venue for serious business because laurels are at stake. Teams don’t go to the World Cup for jamboree; they go there for business and to achieve a dream! It is also an interest­ing thing to note that the last of the four teams from the en­tire participants of the cham­pionship is a big deal. So, Ni­gerians are looking beyond the qualification exercise for the Eagles.

 

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