Peter Rufai: Time For Eagles To Fly

Peter_RufaiWe’ve seen goals pour in in torrents in the few group matches of the FIFA World Cup finals so far played. This is good because goals bring excitement to the fans and lift the standard of competitions.

To a large extent it’s a pleasant surprise, far from the 2010 edition in South Africa. Who would have predicted a 5-1 rout of defending champions Spain by the Netherlands? It’s not all about surprises as regards results but the flow of goals.

Agreed the opening ceremony did not match the colour of the 2010 edition in South Africa. But for sure, the opening match between hosts Brazil and Croatia was a thriller. Four goals in the first game really kept fans cheering and Brazil are off to a fine start for a possible sixth title run.

I do agree there are some controversies recorded so far as regards officiating as experienced in the Brazil/Croatia game. It also happened in the game between Mexico and Cameroon. Yes, FIFA has put in a lot to change and improve officiating but let’s not forget these referees are human beings as well. They are not perfect. Brazil may have benefited this time around as it helped to calm the rioting citizens, but they shouldn’t count on it. It can come round against them next time because what goes around also comes around.

Today, the Super Eagles, Nigeria’s hope and pride, African champions, will take on Iran in the 13th match of the championship. We’ve all looked forward to this game.

We expect them to win, I want them to win and I’m praying for them to win. They have watched the other matches so far played, it may have also given them opportunity to rest, correct some mistakes made in the friendly matches earlier played, gain more confidence and I can say they are now in their full strides.

Stephen Keshi, the coach, may have learned from the tactical flaws of teams who lost their opening games so we expect a brand new Super Eagles against Iran. They have
to make sure they take the chances they create in the game.

If they create one chance, they should take it. If two opportunities come, let’s see the ball inside the net twice.

Matches are won by the number of goals scored. The Super Eagles have good strikers. With Emmanuel Emenike, Osaze Odemwingie, Shola Ameobi upfront, and Mikel Obi,
Ogenyi Onazi and Ramon Azeez behind them supplying the passes, I have confidence the goals will come. A 2-0 win is possible. If they can get one goal in the first half, another could come in the second half. I’m not Octopus Peter but I know the Super Eagles are now in a better shape and frame of mind, they have put behind them the results of the friendly knowing full well that this is business time. If they remain united and focused, play for each other, then they will stop Iran and I’m looking at them do so with at least a two-goal margin.

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