26th March, 2013
Nigerians have told the Flying Eagles to beat their Egyptian counterparts when both sides meet this evening in the semi final of the African Youth Championship in Algeria.
Ahmed Maude, the President, Nigeria Referee Association, NRA, warned Coach John Obuh and his team not to be complacent in the crucial match.
“There is the tendency for the team to throw caution to wind and feel that because they had an easy ride against the Junior Pharaohs, particularly in the first game, it will be business as usual.
“You could see how the Egyptians approached the second game. They stepped up their performance and almost defeated the Eagles,’’ Maude said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN.
According to him, the boys must not be complacent but play the Egyptians as if they had never played them before.
“This is because of the saying that ‘familiarity breeds contempt’. If they get all too familiar with the Egyptians, they might be made to pay the price with a surprise defeat.’’
He stressed that the boys must sustain the excellent performance that they have put up so far, especially in their last group game against DR Congo.
“They must go all out for a win without any fear because the best form of defence is attack.’’
Godwin Bamigboye, the Chairman of the Nigeria Coaches Association, FCT Chapter, said Nigeria was in a better position to defend the AYC title if the boys could approach the semi-final game just as their last group game.
“They need to convert all their chances to goals. They can’t afford to make silly mistakes at this point, bearing in mind that once your opponent has sized you up he will be looking to adopt an entirely different strategy.
“They struggled to make it to the next round especially in their first game. But, I think they have improved since then.
“So, I don’t see them making the same mistakes they made against Mali.’’
Bamigboye noted that the Flying Eagles had an edge over their Egyptian counterparts, adding that, “they need to slow down the pace of the game and force the Egyptians to play according to their own pattern.’’
Meanwhile, Wikki Tourist rookie Umar Aminu, who fired a brace against DRC at the weekend, has been declared fit for the match.
The cheering news of Aminu’s availability is a morale booster for the defending champions as one of the team’s top striker Edafe Egbedi failed to make the cut for crunch semi final tie
Aminu trained with the squad and he is likely to start along with Olanrewaju Kayode as the Flying Eagles go for broke against Egypt.
The Wikki Tourist striker is the Flying Eagles second top scorer behind skipper Abduljeleel Ajagun having notched in the two goals that not only saw Nigeria into the semis but also secure a World Cup ticket for them.