Benson Chukwueke Benson Chukwueke Author
Title: Samson Siasia Faces “Acid Test” in Lusaka | But Can Nigeria’s Dream Team Wake up from Slumber?
Author: Benson Chukwueke
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  It isn’t a question of whether or not, ‘Dream team, must wake up from slumber and fight for its qualification in Lusaka Zambia o...



 It isn’t a question of whether or not, ‘Dream team, must wake up from slumber and fight for its qualification in Lusaka Zambia or remain perpetually in the dreamland. Samson Siasia should know that if he fails to qualify for the ‘All African Games in April, it might cost him the job as Nigeria’s U23 team coach.

He is experienced enough to know how the NFF works. I guess Siasia would have learn one or two lessons from 2011 experience, when he was sacked as head coach of Nigeria national team (Super Eagles) for failing to qualify for African cup of Nation.




It didn’t matter that he was building such a great team that played with so much cohesion then. It didn’t matter that NFF technical committee ill-informed him and forced Mikel Obi and Osaze Odenwingie on him. What mattered after all was that he didn’t qualify and there was no room for failure.

Amaju Pinnick, NFF President has already warned that Nigeria U23 team must qualify for the All African Games! You know what that means? Well, not everyone can be as lucky as Stephen Keshi, who is on the verge of renewing his contract, in spite failing to qualify for 2015 AFCON. We all know if it was in the hands of Pinnick alone, Keshi would have long been gone.

Siasia should know this might be his last chance at the national team if he fails to perform in Lusaka Zambia. There’s one Manu Garba watching his back, who can readily take over after FIFA U20 World cup in May 2015.



It was unfortunate that the Nigerian U23 side played themselves into a tight corner with a goalless draw (0 – 0) in Abuja. The cardinal rule for qualifying in such competition is this: win your home games with large goal margin and work hard to secure a draw in the return leg away. Now, it looks like Zambia U23 national team has more advantage to qualify at home.


But having said that, I should advice, as an ardent fan of Siasia, that he should unleash his entire arsenal in Lusaka. He need at a goal draw to qualify the Nigerian team. I don’t know if it is a welcomed development to extend a late invitation to some of the victorious Flying Eagles players. Muhammed Musa, Mustapha Abdullah, Taiwo Awoniyi Bernard Bulbwa and Dele Alapasu are no doubt very good players, but they have not been with the U23 team before or under Samson Siasia. I hope it work out. Siasia needs to work out a miracle in the second leg qualifiers in Lusaka.  

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