Give us this day, U.S.-based Monidafe tells Eagles
• Wants Early Goals To Unsettle Ambitious Zambians
As the Super Eagles take on the Chipolopolo of Zambia in today’s crucial 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier in Uyo, United States-based ex-international, Francis Monidafe has given the team some tips on how to conquer the visitors.
Monidafe, a great player in the 1970s and 80s, wants the Eagles to go for early goals to unsettle the Zambians, who have been boasting of how they will inflict pains on football-loving Nigerians this evening.
Speaking with The Guardian from his base in USA yesterday, Monidafe, a member of the all-conquering Bendel Insurance squad that defeated Enugu Rangers in the final of the 1978 Challenge Cup in Lagos, said: “The Super Eagles should go out on Saturday and play Zambia as if their lives depended on this game. They should go in there, finish the job clinically so that we all can celebrate throughout the night,” he stated.
After leading Bendel Insurance to victory in the 1978 FA Cup, Monidafe and the ‘gang,’ which had the likes of Prince Afejuku, Peter Egharevba, George Omokaro, Henry Ogboe, Leotis Boateng and David Adiele, represented Nigeria in the African Cup of Champions competition in 1979, beating Sotema of Madagascar in penalty shootout after a 2-2 goals aggregate at the National Stadium in Lagos.
To Monidafe, who played for the then Green Eagles from 1978 till early 80s, today’s World Cup qualifier against Zambia in Uyo holds a lot for Nigerians, both home and abroad. “The team has a chance this time not to give Nigerians any form of anxiety. All the Eagles need do is to score early goals to shut the Zambians’ mouth. They have been bragging for the past one-month, saying that they would kill the Eagles in Uyo. I don’t really expect them to sit down and succumb to a superior power, but the Eagles should be able to give them the treatment we expect of them.”
He also spoke on some of the technical expertise needed from coach Gernot Rohr in a game of this magnitude: “In our days, coaches prepare the team by working on the previous match and scouting reports, then our mistakes as well as the opponents weaknesses. But remember there were no professional players then. We were all home-based.”
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