Former Green Eagles captain, Henry Nwosu, has said the Super Eagles did not bring any form of hunger to win the encounter against the Red Devils of Congo on Saturday. The Eagles lost 2-3 to their Congolese opponents in the first group game of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match decided at the UJ Esuene Stadium, Calabar. Though the Eagles scored first through defender, Efe Ambrose, but striker, Prince Oniangue, levelled score while danger man Thievy Bifouma grabbed a brace to seal victory for the Central Africans.
The Gateway FC of Abeokuta coach said the Eagles took lot of things for granted in the crucial encounter and got punished by more aggressive and determined Congolese side led by veteran coach, Claude Le Roy. “The Eagles were overconfident and lacked eagerness to win the game right from the blast of the whistle and played throughout as if nothing was at stake.
Perhaps they took the Congolese for granted and erroneously believed that they can always roll-over their opponents having done same in the past but got stunned by more a determined and adventurous side. “The defeat was unexpected as the players have been together for a long time to have won the game convincingly. It’s unfortunate that we started our AFCON qualification campaign on a losing note, I’m not happy with the outcome of the match,” he said.
Nwosu however expressed shock that the side top striker, Emmanuel Emenike started the match late as substitute but believed that Eagles will bounce back from the defeat. “I’m surprised that Emenike started the game late as a substitute without injury which would have been the reason to leave him on the bench.“I think Keshi knows better why Emenike was left on the bench as a moment of alertness and seriousness came to the fore with his introduction.
“Nigeria is always starting most of its game slowly and now we’ve lost today’s (Saturday) game against Congo some form of seriousness will be back against South Africa.” Nigeria will play Bafana Bafana on Wednesday in Cape Town and with victory at the back of their minds.