–Nigeria international rues AFCON miss
Academica de Coimbra midfielder, Obiora Nwankwo has expressed regrets over Nigeria’s failure to qualify for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Equatorial Guinea.
Obiora was part of Nigeria’s 2013 Afcon-winning squad in South Africa as he put in a shift to inspire the Super Eagles to their third success at Africa’s biggest football showpiece.
The midfielder says “mistakes were made” and wants things put in perspective if the Super Eagles are to rise like a Phoenix from the ashes in the coming years.
“We made mistakes and, if things must get better, everyone who contributed (to our failure to reach the 2015 Afcon) must put his hand up,” he told supersport.com from his base in Portugal.
The 23-year-old then admitted his frustrations watching matches at the 2015 Afcon without Nigeria.
“I have been watching some of the games (at the 2015 Afcon) when my schedule allows me but if I must be honest, it’s hard, very hard, to take just watching and not participating.
“With due respect, Nigeria’s Super Eagles are much stronger than a lot of the teams I have watched so far.
“I still recall vividly that just two years ago we played in the same competition and emerged the best,” he said.
Looking back at the 2013 Afcon, Obiora identified Nigeria’s 2-1 quarterfinal defeat of the Ivory Coast as the Super Eagles’ easiest game.
“Before the tournament, I told my roommate (Chelsea defender) Kenneth Omeruo that we would win the trophy in South Africa.
“I had no doubts after that and I told anyone who cared to listen that the only threat we would face would come from the Ivory Coast, led by Didier (Drogba) and Yaya (Toure).
“As it turned out, that was our easiest game in the tournament,” he said.