AKWUEGBU: LIBERIA CAN’T STOP EAGLES’ AFCON TICKET
Posted: Sep 14, 2012
Ex-international, Ben Akwuegbu, has warned Nigerian critics not to put the Super Eagles under unnecessary pressure going into the return leg match of the 2013 African Nations Cup qualifier with Lone Star of Liberia following the 2-2 draw the team settled for in Monrovia last weekend.
The former Super Eagles and AK Graz of Austria forward who is currently holidaying in London, reasons that though the team drew the first leg match much to the chagrin of many Nigerians, over criticism is likely to subject the players to pressure which may derail their ambition to qualify for the 2013 AFCON finals in South Africa.
The Heartland of Owerri Assistant General Manager admitted that though the team may have fallen short in terms of quality of play, the coach must have observed such grey areas with a view to correcting them ahead of the crucial return leg match.
"As far as I'm concerned, a draw at away is not a bad result so Nigerians should be very careful with their criticisms in order not to put the team under pressure going into the return leg match," Akwuegbu warned.
The former Flying Eagles striker further said that the Super Eagles are still on course to pick the Nations Cup ticket at the expense of Liberia, despite the 2-2 draw in Liberia.
“No country is minnow in football any longer, so for me the draw in Liberia is still a good one. The coaches need to correct whatever lapses noticed in the first leg to ensure victory in the second leg.
“Even at that, a scoreless draw, or 1-1 draw will see the team through and I’m sure that they can do that because I trust (Stephen) Keshi and (Daniel) Amokachi, they can do it.”
He also rose in strong defense of vilified goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama whose goalkeeping error was alleged to have cost the team victory in the first leg match in Monrovia.
“Vincent is good goalkeeper. He has saved the team from anxious moments in the past so nobody should crucify him for such a slip.
“Football is all about mistakes without which there could be no goal. It’s unfortunate that such happened to us but we should not crucify him but to encourage him so it does not happen again. This is the moment he needs Nigerians to stand by him”, Akwuegbu stated.
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