By Richard Jideaka: Former Golden Eaglets coach Fanny Amu has expressed the optimism that the Super Eagles will peak in the semi-finals of the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Morocco and go ahead to clinch the trophy, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
The Nigerian side defeated Angola 2-1 after extra-time on Sunday to reach their second semi-final in three CHAN tournaments and they will face Sudan on Wednesday.
“The Eagles have not been at their best so far in the competition and have managed to reach the semifinals,” Amun, who led Nwankwo Kanu and other Eaglets to the FIFA U-17 World Cup title in Japan in 1993, told CSN.
“I believe they would be unstoppable when they play at their full potential. The Nigerian never-say-die spirit has taken the team to this stage, it is time to step it to next level.
“When these boys peak, hopefully in the semifinals, they will be too hot to handle. Their semi-final opponents Sudan are good but I don’t see them stopping the Super Eagles at this stage of the competition. I see the Eagles peaking ahead of reaching the final.”
He urged the coaches to work on the team’s shooting accuracy and ball holding against Sudan, adding that they would be punished if they do not take their chances against the very hardworking Sudanese team.
Amun added that goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa may have played himself into Nigeria’s World Cup-bound team to Russia with his CHAN heroics.
But Amun insists Ezenwa’s excellent performance so far at CHAN in Morocco does not mean the Eagles goalkeeping problem is sorted, adding that Vincent Enyeama’s experience is vital for the World Cup.
“Ezenwa has been improving with every game he plays for the Eagles and I must say based on this form, he should go to Russia but he needs to do more to be number one at the World Cup. The Eagles need an experienced goalkeeper and the only one available now is Enyeama,” the one-time Secretary-General of the Nigeria Football Federation told CSN.
“I think a fully fit Enyeama will be a big plus for the Super Eagles in that he would either be number one or drive Ezenwa to bring out his best. He is doing well now but World Cup is a different thing entirely.”
Amun who assisted Adegboye Onigbinde at the 2002 Corld Cup said Ezenwa should continue to work hard, adding that he might still be number one if Enyeama fails to meet the fitness and form test.