27th March, 2013
Mike Umeh, the first Vice President of Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, has described Tuesday’s performance of the Flying Eagles at the ongoing African Youth Championship, AYC, in Algeria as an “embarrassment’’.
Flying Eagles lost 0-2 to Egypt in one of the semi-final matches played last night to set up a third place tie against Mali who were beaten by Ghana..
Umeh told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, that the team’s performance was below expectations, as they played the Egyptians as if there was nothing at stake.
“I am totally disappointed by the performance of the players; how can the defending champions be playing this way. The Egyptians had three chances and they converted two and our players were busy chasing the ball.
“The team was not impressive in their first game against Mali and they paid dearly for it. They are always in a hurry, the coordination is not there and they don’t have clinical finishing like the Egyptians,’’ Umeh said.
The football administrator said the NFF would like to see a technical report of the team before knowing the next line of action to take on the team.
Umeh wondered why John Obuh and his team, who are the defending champions, should crash out in the semi-finals of the AYC.
“Thank God we were able to qualify for the World Cup otherwise it would have been a shame for us. It is left for the Technical Committee of the NFF to decide if Obuh will lead the team to the World Cup or not,’’ he added.
Meanwhile, Obuh blamed the defeat on the inability of his team to take their chances in the first half.
“We did not take our chances especially in the first half. Egypt were more determined and they went for it. They were also lucky,” he said.
To Egypt Coach Rabiea Yassin, “Nigeria controlled the first half, but they did not have any clear chances. We made changes and we took over the game in the second half. We did not have a typical centre-forward and so we had to attack from the sides using Kahraba and Ahmed Rafat.