Eagles depart as Chukwu, Fashanu slam team
Beaten Super Eagles departed Nigeria for
Johannesburg on Sunday night ahead of the 2015
African Nations Cup qualifier against South Africa
billed for Wednesday in Cape Town. The Eagles
Media Officer, Ben Alaiya, confirmed to The
PUNCH their schedule while boarding the flight at
the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos.
He said, “We are set to board our flight now from
He added that the Eagles were not originally
scheduled to leave on Tuesday.
The African champions are in a must-win situation
against South Africa after surprisingly losing their
opening game 3-2 to Congo in Calabar on
Saturday just as the South Africans who shocked
Sudan 3-0 away on Friday lead Group A. Congo
will host Sudan on Wednesday in the other match
in that group.
Meanwhile, a former Super Eagles coach Christian
Chukwu and a former England international John
Fashanu have expressed dismay at the
unexpected loss Nigeria suffered against Congo in
“I’m very surprised that we lost to Congo at
home,” the former Nigeria captain was quoted as
saying by SL10.com.
“I really don’t know why, but we didn’t play well
and we weren’t good enough. We never really
pushed them and we didn’t even play like the
home team. I’m shocked to say the least.”
But despite the loss, Chukwu said it wasn’t the
time to trade blames.
“I understand that Nigerians aren’t happy with
the result but this is hardly the time for blame
games, because we cannot afford that now,” he
“We have to keep the focus, that’s what the
players should do now. The milk is spilt already,
no need crying over it. We must get our
concentration right ahead of the next game.”
Fashanu rather blamed coach Keshi’s tactics in
the encounter, saying the team’s poor approach
to the game gave the visitors the unexpected
“Stephen Keshi is one coach I admire a lot, but his
tactics in the first half, and the players he selected
cost Nigeria the game,” he told SL10.
“I understand the idea of resting players because
of the South Africa game, but leaving your best
striker (Emmanuel Emenike) out, and starting with
a player (Uche Nwofor), who strikes no fear into
the minds of the opposition, was a gamble that
Fashanu added that Keshi must improve on the
team’s defence if Nigeria must qualify for the
2015 Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco.
“It’s not looking good at the moment, but from
what we saw in the second half, the Super Eagles
are a good side in attack. Defensively, however,
there are so many issues.
“All the goals Congo scored are avoidable with
some simple basics, but they weren’t there, if we
are to be at the Nations Cup next year then a
whole lot of work needs to be done on the
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