14th October, 2013
Despite Nigeria’s Super Eagles recording an away victory over the Walya Ibex of Ethiopia in the final playoffs of the Brazil 2014 World Cup qualifier decided Sunday in Addis Ababa, two Nigerian former internationals, Henry Nwosu, MON and Ademola Adeshina believe the Eagles were just lucky to have won the crucial match.
Fernabache of Turkey based Emmanuel Emenike scored twice for the Super Eagles to silence the hosts who took the lead in the 57th minute. The ex-internationals are of the view that the East Africans would have created an upset, if their attackers were clinical in front of goal.
Nwosu, while reacting to Eagles’ victory which gives Nigeria an edge over Ethiopia going into the reverse fixture in Calabar on 16 November, said that the Nigerian team should thank their stars for coming out unscathed in the tie.
Nwosu, who was recently appointed Chief Coach of Gateway Football Club of Abeokuta, said the Ethiopians gave the Eagles a run for their money, “Ethiopia gave us a good fight and they made us sweat for our win. Though we’ll surely beat them in Calabar, we still have a lot of work to do. The second leg will not be easy because the Ethiopians are a very good side. We shouldn’t celebrate yet until we have qualified for the World Cup.”
Adeshina on his part said there was no synergy between the midfield and the defence of the Eagles, adding that it was lack of understanding in the team that allowed the Ethiopians to have easy access into the Eagles’ vital area.
“The Ethiopians were just unlucky because they created so many scoring chances but they failed to utilise them. This led to them falling at home,” he said.
Meanwhile coach of the Ethiopians, Sewnet Bishaw, has insisted that Nigeria did not deserve to win the tie.
Bishaw disclosed shortly after the match that his team was the better side during the encounter.
He said he did not understand why the centre referee disallowed a goal when the ball had crossed the line before it was cleared by Super Eagles’ defender Godfrey Oboabona.
“Nigeria is a big country and we respect Nigeria, but Nigeria didn’t deserve to win the match.
“We were far better than the Nigerian Eagles, but the referee denied us the opportunity that could have changed the game for us. So, we are not happy.
“Why did we get this kind of poor officiating for a game as big as this? We played our game and my boys were very good, but the referee spoiled it for us,’’ Bishaw told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN.
Bishaw, however, said he was hopeful the second leg game would end in their favour as the Eagles had succeeded in escaping with victory in Addis Ababa.
Projecting into the outcome of the reverse fixture Bishaw said “In the second leg in Nigeria, the Eagles will not be so lucky because we have understood their game and we will definitely be there in Calabar for a payback.
“The officiating was really poor and the whole of Ethiopia is not happy. You can see how they left the stadium disappointed,” he added.