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Chukwu tips CHAN Eagles on how to beat Atlas Lions


Christian Chukwu

• Morocco’s facilities thrill Egbe

Former Super Eagles’ Coach, Christian Chukwu believes the resilience displayed by Nigeria in its 1-0 defeat of Sudan in the semifinal of the on-going African Nations Championship in Morocco is a pointer that the country has the qualities needed to win the competition. He adds, however, that the dream of becoming African champions can only be realised if the team did not fall to the antics of the hosts in the final match.

The CHAN Eagles defeated Sudan 1-0 in one of the semifinals on Wednesday to qualify for Sunday’s final. Chukwu said the CHAN Eagles would have to fight like wounded lions against Morocco and also disregard the vociferous chants of the host fans to prove that they are the best team in the tournament. 

The former Harambee Stars of Kenya coach acknowledged that the players’ commitment and progress in every game has instilled more confidence in the team.“The coaches should work on the psychology of the players to aid them withstand any pressure from the Moroccan supporters in the final. The players are mature enough to contend with the Moroccans, but they should be encouraged to remain focused and raise the standard of their game on Sunday,” he said.  

Also optimistic that Nigeria can win the CHAN trophy is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Monimichelle, a stadium construction outfit, Ebi Egbe. Egbe, who praised the Eagles for reaching their first ever final in the tournament, said the Salisu Yusuf tutored side has what it takes to beat Morocco inside the Casablanca’s massive Stade Mohamed V.

“The Eagles are definitely in for a tough battle on Sunday, but I strongly believe it is a battle Nigeria will win. We have a bunch of players that are bent on doing the country proud and given the level of support they are getting from the soccer federation and government, I see them going all the way and lifting the trophy. 

What Nigerians should do is rally round the team with their prayers. It would be wonderful starting 2018 with a trophy. Egbe commended Morocco for the excellent facilities it provided for the competition and urged Nigeria to emulate the North African country by building world-class arenas.

“The big lesson we should learn from Morocco is the kind of facilities they have put forward. Nigeria has the resources to do the same and my company Monimichelle is ready as an indigenous firm to ensure we eradicate the bad pitches that dot our country. What we have done in Yenagoa, Katsina and in another few weeks Aba is a pointer to what Monimichelle can do,” Egbe said.

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