Riding high on the laurels of being top of Group C, after trashing the Niger Menas, the Super Eagles were optimistic about facing Guinea today, January 26, despite the 1 – 1 draw with Tunisia this past Friday.
The Eagles were very aware that Friday’s game-play did not aid their chances of qualifying to the knock-out stages of the tournament, but a draw was not the worst result.
Unfortunately, the team is now out of the 2016 African Nations Championship in Rwanda after a 1 – 0 defeat to the Syli Nationale of Guinea in the last round of matches in Group C. A win would have cemented their place in the last eight, but with a loss, and rivals Tunisia winning 5 – 0 over Niger, the senior national team’s CHAN hopes have been dashed.
Goalkeeper, Ikechukwu Ezenwa did a superb job in the net defending as many goals as he could, especially in the 80th minute, where Guinea had a free kick and Ibrahim Sankhon drilled it in but Ezenwa blocked the goal with precision. Sankhon did manage the game winning goal in the 45th minute.
Less can be said for Nigeria’s strikers, who were running about the pitch in one note fashion never managing to create an avenue for shots on goal nor striking with authority on the several free kicks afforded to them. Some may critique Coach Oliseh’s changes in the line-up early on and in the second half on the less to be desired performance of the team.
We hope for the return of morale after this loss, and for the Super Eagles to rise as a team to the contenders they once were in CHAN and in international football.