Nations Cup Qualifiers: Agu, Babangida Tip Eagles For Ticket


The duo of Alloy Agu and Tijani Babangida, both former Super Eagles players, have expressed confidence in the ability of the Eagles to qualify for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations to be held in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.

Nigerian team are currently placed second behind Guinea in their group, and Agu, a former Eagles’ goalkeeper trainer, believes they are the favourites to pick the sole group ticket.

“The moment the group was announced, everybody believed the Super Eagles were the favourites to top the group but now you can see where we found ourselves.

“But we are not losing hope because we believe our fate still lies in our hands. The players are aware of the precarious situation we are right now and they know what is at stake. For that reason they don’t have any choice than to qualify ahead of Guinea.

“In 1989, Nigeria were stopped from going to the 1990 World Cup by Gabon when the Eagles were beaten 3-2. Everybody thought Gabon were minnors but they stopped us. It can happen again if we don’t win the two matches ahead.

“What matters now is for us to win our matches. The quality of players will determine the strength of a team. Now that our players are playing in the first team of their various clubs and we can only hope they continue to remain fit so that when they come home to play for the Super Eagles, they can reproduce the brilliant performances they put up at their clubs for the national team,” he said.

The former Eagles’ assistant coach also stated that the team’s coaching crew is planning to make use of the best legs available for the crucial matches and would not mind if the players are home or foreign based.

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“The coaching crew is monitoring the home -based players to make sure we present our finest and best for the matches. I can assure you that Nigeria’s flag will be hoisted at the Nations Cup next year,” he said.

Former Super Eagles’ winger, Tijani Babangida, said with discipline and determination Nigeria will qualify for next year’s African Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.

In a telephone chat with P.M Sports, Babangida said though the chances of the Super Eagles qualifying for the competition are very slim, he still believes with discipline and determination on the part of the players, the team will qualify for the biennial competition.

“It is very bad that we are struggling to qualify for the African Cup of Nations, and I must say that our chances are very slim.”

“Even if we beat Madagascar and we equal on points with Guinea, what is the guarantee we will score as much as five goals against them?

“I hope the players will show high level of discipline and enough determination because those are the things that will see us through the situation we are in right now,” he said.

—Bamidele Olowosagba

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