Nigeria’s national soccer team, the Super Eagles, must shed their utilitarian image for the cavalier if they desire to secure a berth at the 2017 African Cup of Nations in Gabon, winger Ahmed Musa has warned.
Dearth of goals in crucial games, it will be recalled, had contributed in no small measure to Nigeria’s inability to qualify for the 2015 AFCON in Equatorial Guinea, as well as crashing out in the second round of last year’s World Cup in Brazil.
For instance, Super Eagles’ first choice striker, Emmanuel Emenike, has failed to limber up for many months, such that his dip-in-form had attracted flaks from fans of Fenerbahce, his Turkish club, which have indicated willingness to trade him off at the end of the season.
And as the nation eagerly look forward to next month’s Gabon 2017 qualifier between the Super Eagles and Chad, the first in a series of games which also include Egypt and Tanzania, Musa has emphasized that the Eagles have to reenact the kind of form that earned them the continental title in 2013.
The CSKA Moscow of Russia player, whose two goals sent jitters down the spine of Argentina in the 2-3 loss to the South Americans at the last World Cup, says he expects a tough match against Chad considering the team’s lack of firing power to finish up games.
He said past mistakes, which leaves Nigeria begging for favours from teams in her groups to qualify must be avoided, and said Chad must not be underrated by Super Eagles so that maximum points could be gained in both legs. “We know the game is not going to be easy; its going to be difficult in deed,” said Musa. “But I feel its up to the team to work hard.
“I expect a tough first leg match but we must create many chances and take them. We must utilize our chances to score many goals, a draw is the last thing anyone desires against Chad.” Head Coach, Stephen Keshi, is expected to reel out names of invited players for the AFCON qualifier against Chad in a matter of days, with the coach opening the build-up camp with the home-based invitees.