.–Ex-Nigeria defender laments injury to Volyn Lutsk midfielder
Tunisia 1994 Africa Cup of Nations winning Super Eagles defender, Ben Iroha has lamented Michael Babatunde’s injury in the World Cup group F final match between Nigeria and Argentina which has ruled the combative Nigeria midfielder out of the remaining showpiece in Brazil.
Iroha while eulogising Super Eagles inspired performance against the Argies Wednesday in Porto Alegre rued Babatunde’s fracture injury, lamenting the team will miss his combative presence in the remaining campaign.
“Babatunde was an unsung player going into the World Cup but he succeeded in endeering himself into the hearts of Nigerian fans with his wonderful performances so far”, starts the one time Super Eagles assistant coach during the transit reign of Augustine ‘Cerezo’ Eguavoen incharge of the Super Eagles.
“We all saw how strong and versatile he was during the games he featured in and which of course justified coach Stephen Keshi’s decision to take him to the World Cup.
“It’s so sad he won’t be available in the remaining games, especially in Monday’s Round of 16 game with France. I believe the team will feel his absence even though Keshi will have to get a replacement for him.
“Yes, no player is indispensible in a team but Babatunde has brought a lot of stability, steel and presence in the Super Eagles midfield, combining defensive and attacking flair which has so far helped the team, the team will surely feel his absence in the coming games.” Iroha stressed.
The former Iwuanyanwu Nationale of Owerri and Vitesse of Holland left-back was pleased with Super Eagles performance against Argentina in the last group F match Wednesday despite the 2-3 defeat.
“It’s painful losing to Argentina, but we must take some positives from the game which were that first we qualified for the knock out stage and again the Super Eagles put up a very commendable performance.
“We saw a decent Super Eagles squad who fought for every ball and were scoring too. Ahmed Musa proved, as much as the entire team that Argentina’s days of dominance are now numbered and if the team can replicate that form on Monday against France Nigerians would be celebrating a quarter final berth for the team,” Iroha emphasized.