By Adeola Aderounmu
The Super Eagles are looking for glory. How far will they get at the Nation’s Cup in South Africa? The team left a big question mark on his ability to win the glory it seeks.
With 2 seconds to the end of the game, Nigeria conceded a goal to the Burkinabes. The time was 93 minutes and 58 seconds when the ball rested in the net behind Vincent Enyeama.
When it was about 30 seconds left, Nigeria won possession and launched an attacked. That is good for football to try to score even when you are one man down and in the dying minutes. But since the recovery rate was slow and the defense line a little bit complacent, Nigeria paid dearly for the mis-adventure. It was 1-1 with the last kick of the game.
If the Super Eagles miss glory at this tournament, Keshi should be ready for all the criticisms that will come his way. It sound unfair but that is the way the stories go.
First he had said that African coaches are better and one hopes that a team with an African coach wins this tournament. One way to do that is to first beat Zambia on Friday.
Second, history shows that a team that leaves his best players out of tournaments don’t usually go far. For footballing reasons there are none to show why Osaze Peter Odemwingwe should not be in South Africa. He is arguably Nigeria’s best striker and a very committed player for that matter.
For personal reasons, I mean because of personal differences Keshi left Osaze out of the team and the player was almost crying on the social networks to drive home his own points.
One hopes that Uche stops firing the balls into the crowds and into the net when Nigeria meets Zambia and then Ethiopia.
Experiences are gathered through participation, so there is absolutely nothing wrong with going to the tournament with more than 15 new players in the national team.
Football is the hope of Nigeria, a country under siege from militants, kidnappers, very bad government and terrorists. This game provides, always, a temporary reprieve from the sorrows that plagued the biggest black nation on earth.
For some short periods Nigerians usually lay their differences aside to support the National teams at different competitions.
Sports glory helps to unite Nigeria albeit for a while.
Unfortunately the dismal performances of the teams and the non-qualification for the 2011 Edition are a continuous reminder of everything wrong with Nigeria. From a personal point of view, my hopes in Nigeria as a country are totally gone!
I think following the game is as a result of the sentiments left in me, not emotions. I don’t really care who wins in SA.
When I think of the disconnection between the corrupt government and the Nigerian masses, no amount of football glory can becloud my judgment of how sad the situation is back in Nigeria.
However I will leave that aside and wish Nigerians all the joy they can get from this tournament while it lasts.
Nigeria meets a boastful Zambia team on Friday in what will be a likely decider for which of the two teams that may go home early in the tournament.
I wish Stephen Keshi all the best in his endeavours and for the Nigerian lads-especially the home based players-sweating it out as their government officials continue to loot the treasury I hope they find fame and glory even after the tournamen.
I think no matter what happens many of them will be grateful to Keshi, for the exposure and for the hopes of brighter footballing careers.