There is plenty of work to be done by the Super Eagles of Nigeria now that Chad have decided to quit the qualifying series of the 2017 African Cup of Nations in Gabon.
It would be total disaster if the team failed to qualify for the bi-annual tournament which was hosted by Equatorial Guinea having missed the last edition by a whisker.
In order to avoid a repeat of this scenario, the Nigeria Football Federation, the technical crew lead by team’s interim coach, Samson Siasia and the players must invade Alexandria with the mindset of defeating the host regardless of their vociferous home fans.
Perhaps, if the Super Eagles had knew that Chad would pull out of the qualifying campaign, maybe they would have overcome their Egyptian counterpart at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna. The encounter which ended in a 1-1 draw last week Friday puts the team’s qualifying hopes on a tight rope.
However, Nigerianreporter.com gives an analytical view on how the Super Eagles can edge the Pharaohs of Egypt at the Borg El-Arab Stadium on Tuesday:
First, Super Eagles interim coach, Samson Siasia must ensure he works on the psychology of the players ahead of the must-win clash against the Pharaohs of Egypt. This is very crucial considering the fact that, some of the players may still be weigh down with Egypt’s Mohammed Salah’s late goal in Kaduna. The coach must implant a winning mentality on the players because nothing is lost until the final whistle.
Secondly, the need to score an early goal in order to unsettle the host team should be the topmost game plan of the technical crew. This will also calm the nerves of the Super Eagles players and help them to dictate the pace of the game.
Thirdly, for the team to overcome the threat posed by the Pharaoh’s attack, most especially knowing fully that they are playing at home, the Super Eagles defense must be well organized from the start of the whistle to the end of the game. Lack of concentration cost the team the vital three points in Kaduna and a repeat could just end Nigeria’s AFCON dream.
In addition, it’s suggested that the technical crew must make a few changes in the team if they must achieve success in Alexandria. Siasia should take the risk of resting Ahmed Musa, Godferey Obaobona, Ogenekaro Etebo and Stanley Amuzie for Victor Moses, Alex Iwobi Ogenyi Onazi and Elderson Echiéjilé.
It may sound absurd but the team needs players who could take their goal scoring chances as they come.
More so, Nigeria must apply caution even though the team needs the win to all but guarantee their place for the 2017 African Cup of Nations in Gabon. Normal football pundits would want the team to approach the game in an aggressive way by attacking the Egyptians, however, this may give the host an opportunity to capitalize on the team’s weakness defensive wise.
Finally, having known that the Pharaohs are also weak at the backline going by what happened in the reverse fixture in Kaduna, it would be ideal for the technical crew to use the likes of Victor Moses, Alex Iwobi and Aaron Samuel due to their pace, dribbles, creativity and sight for goals.