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Published On: Mon, Jun 23rd, 2014

Ugbade wary of Eagles’ defence

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Eagles in BrazilFormer Nigeria international Nduka Ugbade has urged Coach Stephen Keshi to improve the Super Eagles backline before their final group game against Argentina on Wednesday.

Nigeria needs at least a draw against Alejandro Sabella’s side to secure a place in the round of 16 of the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil.

The Flying Eagles assistant coach praised the Eagles for labouring hard to beat Bosnia but warned that the Eagles defence must be improved on before meeting La Albiceleste on Wednesday.

“We thank God that the Eagles managed to beat Bosnia Herzegovina by 1-0 which has made the team to bounce back to reckoning,” Ugbade told Goal.

“But one should not shy away from the fact in as much as we paraded a better forward line that worked very hard to get the goal, our (Eagles) defence was still porous as Bosnia exposed the Eagles in Saturday’s match.

“Kudos must be given to Vincent Enyeama who dived full length to deny Edwin Dzeko his goal bound effort which could have tied the game at 1-1 apiece, he continued.

“ We could have been denied of this victory. That is one of the reasons why I said coach Stephen Keshi still needs to work very hard on the defence line of the Eagles before meeting Lionel Messi led Argentina on Wednesday.

“The Nigerian team could have been punished for the lapses recorded in the Bosnia match if we had played against a team like Argentina that parades deadly strikers like Messi, Aguero, Higuain and the rest.

He however predicted the African champions beating the South American giants by either a slim margin or forcing them to another draw.

“The difference between the Nigerian team and Argentina is that the Super Eagles are physically strong while the Argentines are mentally strong.

“At the end of the day a scoreless situation or a narrow win for Nigeria may be enough for the Super Eagles to move to the round of 16 in the ongoing 2014 World Cup.

“Our defence must be tight and very vigilant throughout the 90 minutes plus duration of the match. If not God forbid, we may be punished by players like Lionel Messi against Iran match when he got the lone goal for his side with two minutes to the end of the match.

He, however, showered encomium on Emmanuel Emenike who displayed guts and physical strength and Osaze Odemwingie who combined well with Emenike in Eagles attack to deliver the lone goal that fetched Nigeria victory against Bosnia on Saturday.

“Emenike reminded me of Daniel Amokachi in his playing days. He displayed raw energy and physical power to outwit the Bosnians and Osaze proved his quality as proven scorer in the way he converted the goal,” he concluded.


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