Musa Shehu Maïkudi of Niger and Osas Okoro of Nigeria battle for possession during the 2016 CHAN Rwanda game between Nigeria and Niger at Stade de Kigali Stadium, Kigali on 18 January 2016 ©Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Okoro: It’s Too Early For Eagles To Go Back Home

Super Eagles forward Osas Okoro has lit up the African Nations Championship here in Rwanda with two outstanding performances. The Enugu Rangers star told Completesportsnigeria.com's DAVID MESHIOYE and ADEBOYE AMOSU in Kigali that he is bent on driving Nigeria to the trophy…

So far, this is fast becoming a memorable tournament for you. You scored a goal in Nigeria's first game against Niger and now you claimed the man of the match award in the game against Tunisia, how delighted are you? 

I came here with the intention of helping my country win the competition and I'm happy with the way things are going at the moment. I love giving my best on the pitch and it's good when you are picked as the best player in a game.
I'm highly delighted with the award and I am going work harder in our subsequent games. 

Your team has now played two games in the competition, against Niger and Tunisia, how would you describe the experience?

For some of us, this is the first time we are playing in a big competition of this nature. It has been a great experience and one that I believe will help us immensely in future.


The Confederation of African Football have really done well by introducing this competition. Before, the only big chance you got as a local player to play outside your country if you were not playing in the national team was in the Champions League and the Confederation Cup.


Now, things are different as we have a better chance to show what we can do. You could see from what is happening here that the African Nations Championship is growing bigger with each edition.

 

How difficult was the game against Tunisia?

Tunisia are one of the favourites to win the competition and they really gave us a good fight. We knew it was going to be a difficult game, but we were adequately prepared for them.
In a big competition like this, you can't expect any easy game. Even the Nigeriens that many refer to as minnows have performed well here.

What do you have to say about the assertion that you guys are slow starters looking at the fact that your team struggled in the first half of the games against Niger and Tunisia? 

Well, in football there is always room for improvement and we can always improve as the competition progresses. We have played against two teams with different playing styles which is good for us as a team. 


No team is infallible. Even the best teams in the world have their weaknesses. One thing is certain, we will surely get better.

 

How are you looking forward to the next game against Guinea?

Well, one good thing going into the game for us is the fact that we have our future in our hands. We are still on top of the group and we don't have to depend on the result else where to determine whether we will qualify or not.


It's going to be a battle between two West African teams, but I strongly believe we can beat them. 

Everyone in the team is looking forward to the game and the only thing on our mind is securing three points and moving to the next round.


You have seen the Guineans play two games in the competition, how would you rate them?

They are a good side, but they can't stop us from reaching the quater-final. It's is too early to go back home. We are going all out for a win.


Finally, what are your personal ambitions in this competition?

The ambition of the team come first. It will be great if we can go back home with the trophy and emulate the successes our country have achieved in recent past. That's talking about the U-17 and U-23 side's. 
 

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