Obafemi Martins Is A Dangerous Player, Says Madagascar Keeper - P.M. News

Obafemi Martins Is A Dangerous Player, Says Madagascar Keeper

Nigeria’s striker Obafemi Martins (right) shoots at goal as South Korea’s goalkeeper Jung Sung-Ryong attempts a save during their Group B first round 2010 World Cup football match on 22 June, 2010 at Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban. Madagascar keeper, Kassima says Martins is a dangerous player after Sunday’s 2012 Nations Cup qualifier in Calabar. PHOTO: AFP.

•SHOT AT GOAL...Nigeria’s striker Obafemi Martins (right) shoots at goal as South Korea’s goalkeeper Jung Sung-Ryong attempts a save during their Group B first round 2010 World Cup football match on 22 June, 2010 at Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban. Madagascar keeper, Kassima says Martins is a dangerous player after Sunday's 2012 Nations Cup qualifier in Calabar. PHOTO: AFP.

Super Eagles striker, Obafemi Martins is becoming a nightmare to many goalkeepers, and the  Most Valuable Player, MVP, in Sunday’s 2012 African Cup of Nations qualifier against  Madagascar has been described as a dangerous player.

•SHOT AT GOAL...Nigeria’s striker Obafemi Martins (right) shoots at goal as South Korea’s goalkeeper Jung Sung-Ryong attempts a save during their Group B first round 2010 World Cup football match on 22 June, 2010 at Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban. Madagascar keeper, Kassima says Martins is a dangerous player after Sunday's 2012 Nations Cup qualifier in Calabar. PHOTO: AFP.

Martins scored the first goal and assisted in the second netted by Michael Eneramo during  the qualifying match against Madagascar at the UJ Esuene Stadium in Calabar.

Despite his communication problems, Madagascar goalkeeper, Kardi Kassima, who conceded a  goal from Martins, revealed after the encounter that the Nigerian forward was a hard nut to  crack.

“Losing by two goals to Nigeria means that we are not push over. Agreed, it’s painful that  we were beaten by the Eagles but my own nemesis in the match was Martins,” Kassima muttered  as the heavily armed Policemen in Calabar guarded the Nigerian team and their visitors from  Madagascar away from the huge crowd and journalists.

It was evident from Kassima’s lamentations that he actually went through psychological  pressure throughout the qualifying match, which gave the Eagles three maximum points in the  group that has Ethiopia and Guinea.

Martins’ pace and ball control prowess give him an edge over defenders during matches and he  used these qualities  against the Madagascans last weekend with a powerful header that shot  Nigeria into the lead in the 18th minute.

“I think the credit of our match against Madagascar should go to the team as a unit. Yes, I  scored and was adjudged the MVP after the game. That’s okay but all the players played a  part to achieve success against our opponents. I think we won the match as a team, that’s  important to me,” Martins said.

However, Caretaker Coach, Austin Eguavoen, dedicated the 2-0 victory over Madagascar to the  fans that thronged the Calabar Stadium to support the Eagles.

The coach was really impressed with the unalloyed support the team received since they  arrived the city last Thursday, saying, “The goals from Martins and Eneramo were inspired by  the unflinching support the team got before and during the match. So I dedicate the win to  them.”

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He described the venue as a good ground for the tie, adding that they were happy with the  choice of Calabar as venue for the match.

“It is absolute falsehood that I complained about the choice of Calabar to anybody either in  private or public. How could I complain about a decision that I participated in taking with  the agreement of my players” asked Eguavoen.

The Eagles coach revealed that the moment they were informed that the Federal Government  wanted to use the National Stadium Abuja for the ECOWAS games, which is a multi-sports  event, he contacted his players.

‘‘I contacted my players about two weeks ago and told them we have to move in the  interest  of the nation. Kaduna or Calabar were the alternative venues.

“The players unanimously agreed that we move the match to Calabar because Kaduna’s weather  is hot, while that of Calabar is akin to that of Europe. In fact Vincent Enyeama was  thrilled with the choice of Calabar’’.

The icing on the cake for the Eagles after Sunday’s victory was the N10 million donation  they received from the Cross River State Governor, Liyel Imoke. The Nigerian team also  received the sum of $9,000 for their 9 shots on target during the encounter.

Meanwhile, Guinea, who scored four unreplied goals against Ethiopia are first on the table  while the Eagles are second ahead of Madagascar and Ethiopia who are third and fourth  respectively.

—Tunde oyedele/Calabar