The whole of Nigeria was like a ghost country last Wednesday evening, after Bafana-Bafana of South Africa stunned Super Eagles to a 2 – 2 draw at the Akwa Ibom International Stadium; and far away in Khartoum, Congo got 0 – 1 away victory over Sudan. By these results, Congo qualified along side South Africa in Group A and Nigeria will not be going to Equatorial Guinea to defend AFCON title after all.
2010 Déjà vu
The attitude with which Super Eagles Prosecuted 2014 AFCON qualifiers was responsible for the failure. Stephen Keshi faces a similar nightmare as Samson Siasia who also failed to qualify Nigeria for AFCON in 2010 due to NFF crisis. Siasia’s team lost to Guinea, but it turned out to be South Africa this time around.
I am not speaking for Keshi! You may not be aware that it was the leadership tussle in NFF that was responsible for the poor preparations, which saw Super Eagles loosing two vital matches in Calabar and Khartoum.
May be, nobody envisaged it, but Keshi and the technical committee of NFF didn’t go the extra mile to ensure victory for Super Eagles last Wednesday. In fact, they took it for granted, looking at history; that Super Eagles would surely out score the South Africans in Uyo.
Broken Team Spirit
Broken Team Spirit
The team spirit, which powered Super Eagles to AFCON victory in 2013, seems to have wane. Keshi and some of his players are now always in loggerhead and the team spirit broken.
NFF may have imposed some players like Ikechukwu Uche on Keshi and that may have affected the approach of the team towards the game. The players were divided among themselves and the team wasn’t blended in their play.
Curses upon the Present Team
Some of the Super Eagles players such as Brown Ideye, Sunday Mba, and John Ogu, who felt they were unjustly kicked out of the national team, may have secretly prayed against the team’s qualification.
Some insider told the story of how Prophet Ngozi Akuogu, the spiritual guide who helped Super Eagles to AFCON 2013 success, got annoyed with the way NFF and the coaching crew abandoned him, and may have spoken some indicting words.
Some Super Eagles players were not confortable with the idea of participating at the 2015 AFCON in January due to the fear over Ebola virus. The unwillingness to take part the championship contributed to the lackluster display by some players who showed no hunger and desire in the qualification matches.
Bafana-Bafana Unbeaten Record
Bafana-Bafana had a very impressive run through the qualifiers series and if the team continues to improve, they may become the team to beat in Equatorial Guinea 2015.
The ‘Shake’ Mashiba’s boys haven’t lost any match so far and are so happy to have edged out Super Eagles here in Uyo.
The South Africans were at the verge of lifting the 10 years jinx of not being able to beat Nigeria in football, but for Aluko’s dying minute’s strike that brought the match again to a draw.