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Eagles depart as Chukwu, Fashanu slam team

Coach-Stephen-Keshi-addressing-the-home-based-Eagles-players-in-Abuja

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

Lagos.”

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

Calabar.

“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

said.

“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

victory.

“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

backfired.”

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

defence.”

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