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Eagles have no excuse against blue sharks of Cape Verde, says Elaho

By Samuel Ifetoye
05 September 2021   |   4:13 am
Former international, Friday Elaho, has said that Coach Gernot Rohr-led Super Eagles have no excuse beating Blue Sharks of Cape Verde in Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier.

Super Eagles players celebrate one of Kelechi Iheanacho’s goals against Liberia in a World Cup qualifier played at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos on September 3, 2021.

Former international, Friday Elaho, has said that Coach Gernot Rohr-led Super Eagles have no excuse beating Blue Sharks of Cape Verde in Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier.

He also expressed disappointment that Nigeria struggled to beat Liberia 2-0 in the game played at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, on Friday.

Two first half goals by Kelechi Iheanacho in the 22nd and 45th minutes ensured that Nigeria beat Liberia to top Group C with three points, ahead of Cape Verde (one point), Central African Republic (one point) and Liberia (0 point) in Day One of African qualifiers for Qatar 2022 World Cup.

Speaking to The Guardian, yesterday, a worried Elaho said he was only able to watch the first half of the encounter, which he described as boring, adding that there is no reason for the country struggling to put up 11 players that will beat any of the countries in the group.

“I only watched the first half of the game, as I didn’t bother myself to do so in the second half. The game wasn’t up to the standard I expected; the performance to me was very poor. My friend, who watched the second half, said there was nothing to write home about it. This is not good for our football.

“We are supposed to dominate and beat the Liberian team I saw on Friday with at least four to six goals. But look at the way we played, as I have always said, our main problem is coaching. This current coach is simply not good enough for this set of players we have right now because individually they are good.

“I give kudos to the Liberians because they actually came out to play. I was expecting our midfielders to connect well with our attackers up front, which I didn’t see. All I saw were ball being lobbed into the areas of the Liberians,” he said, adding that the manner in which the goals were scored was not through clear-cut chances.

“Look at how the first goal was scored, it was through a goal mouth-scramble and not that we created the chance. I didn’t see any pattern or strategy adopted by the coach in the first half that I watched and some people are saying all we needed was the three points; as if that is all that matters in football,” he said.

The former Super Eagles winger said, “Some of us keep on questioning the administrators why we don’t have a standing home based team. Every time they keep on inviting all the players from Europe. Only for the two World Cup qualifiers against Liberia and Cape Verde the coach invited 26 players and some of these players won’t be around for the game against Cape Verde.

“And you asked, yourself why will the administrators keep on wasting our resources by inviting most Europe-based players when we can assemble some of the best local league players and beefed them up with at least six of them from Europe. I can tell you confidently that properly groomed domestic players will beat the Liberian team hands down.

“The NFF (Nigeria Football Federation) knew about the UK’s COVID-19 travel restrictions for our players in the Premier League and yet they brought them to play against the Liberian when they knew these players won’t be available for our next game in Cape Verde. When we talk, they will say it’s because we don’t like them. And that is why the coach and the NFF won’t have any excuse for us not to beat Cape Verde,” he stated.