W/C Play-off: Eguaveon, Amuneke, Players Must Be At Red Alert!

By Victor Enyinnaya on February 28, 2022

Let me congratulate the Super Falcons for their great exploits over their Cote D Ivoire counterparts, the Lady Elephants of Cote D Ivoire in qualifier for the 2022 African Women Championship where the Nigerians came out strongly to subdue their fellow West African opponents both home and away to pick the ticket for the football summit to be held in Morocco. For the records, the Super Falcons defeated the Lady Elephants in Abuja 2-0 and stun them at their home ground few day’s later 1-0 in Cote D Ivoire. It remains heart warming and solid example for the Super Eagles that would face equally hard nut to crack in Ghana’s Black Stars in a bid to pick that slot of World Cup play-off coming up in Qatar later in the year.

The play-off between the West African, neighbour Ghana next Month and this strong showing by the Super Falcons would no doubt act as stimulus to Super Eagles to take on Ghana headlong in the encounter being touted as battle for supremacy of prestige, pride, wits and brawn signaling the age old football rivalry that exists between the countries. We are earnestly looking up to the game and I know that the three time AFCON winners will not disappoint using Super Falcons exploit home and away as peg. It is instructive to note that this is one project the whole country has entered into one accord.

Super Falcons will be in Morocco for the championship proper and their thorough preparations towards a great showing would be good enough. The way and manner the NFF would support the Women team unparallel will be welcomed. The anticipated solid support would no doubt give Falcons enough room and impetus to prepare to the teeth to come tops amongst women national teams in the continent.

Head or tail, Super Falcons team has set the tone for their male counterpart, the Super Eagles as they take the play-off World Cup 2022 battle to Ghana first leg in front of their fans in Accra, Ghana and later in Abuja, Nigeria for the concluding leg.

One would but say Weldone Falcons and all eyes on the ball for the Super Eagles.  

It's no longer news that FIFA has made adjustments to the dates of the crucial World Cup play-off between Nigeria and Ghana. The World Cup qualifier was slated for March 24 and March 27, respectively in Ghana and Nigeria but the game was rescheduled for March 25 and 29 simultaneously.

It will continue to attract headlines and rave comments from analysis due to the pedigree of the opponents involved.

Truth is that the football rivalries between Nigeria and Ghana dates back and both countries have not taken any encounter involving them for granted and so be it.

This impending Qatar 2022 play-off that would determine who joins the other four African countries to represent Africa in the November World Cup football summit in United Arab Emirate, (UAE).

Pundits, bookmakers and analysts have been digging deep into the archives’ of both countries including their current strengths in the continent’s football arenas.

This columnist would not however border you dear readers with that as such would be said when the date for the now or never battles of the fittest draws nearer in preview.     

Fact is that both countries have been building up earnestly for the game.  It would be too close to call no doubt and any country that puts her acts together would squeeze water out of this stone. As frontline Nigerian football stakeholders are doing all within her strength to ensure it will dislodge intruders, Ghana from participating in this year’s World Cup to be held in Qatar later in the year.

However, one must posit that Nigeria has had her fair share of moving swiftly to reinvent her team after not too good outing in AFCON 2021 held in Cameroon. The key stakeholders in persons of Sunday Dare and Amaju Pinnick have gone extra mile to reach out to the players and parleyed with them on the importance of this national assignment obviously tedious World Cup play-off  match against Ghana in March.

Not leaving anything to chance, coaches Austin Eguaveon and Emmanuel Amuneke traveled to London where they met with the players and even received some others that pledged their loyalties to lace their boots for Nigeria in future football engagements.

The news gladdens the hearts of Super Eagles fans and so it has been reverberating and hope rising steadily too on Nigeria’s chances in the crucial play-off. Also of note by fans are the moves to ensure that the in-form players that could not make it to the Nations Cup have been reached and their response to lace their boots in the Ghana clash reassured.

If such happens it meant that Nigeria would have a full house for Ghana challenge.  What is on the lips of all Nigerian fans now is how prepared will her team be before the first leg in Ghana.

They believed that if the duo of Eguaveon and Amuneke get their acts together in first leg it will then spur the players to get cracking, as the first leg result would be good to go.

The nitty-gritty of this issue on the table is that neither Ghana nor Nigeria is comfortable with this pairing, but it is a must play.

As Ghana is having sleepless nights trying to evolve killer football strategies that would be superior to Nigeria’s ditto Nigeria on Ghana.

Eguaveon and Amuneke must ensure they have taken deeper profile of Ghanaians and analyse critically where their strengths and weaknesses lies. This aspect is very important as it will give the Eagles ample opportunity to study their opponents and find antidote (s) to them as the date for the obvious football tug of war looms nearer. No Ghanaian player must be underrated and the Super Eagles must also be told in clearer terms not to play under any form of pressure.

It will be a tight affair. However, in terms of quality players i.e those that are holding strongly their own forcefully in their respective teams across the globe, no country in Africa can boast of. That is on one hand and on the other and foremost, how best the handlers of the Nigerian side would utilize such huge advantage depends entirely on the level of depth technical and tactical knowhow.

Both countries are on the first list of the continent’s top football playing nations.

The World Cup 2022 play-off involving them would not only be intriguing but also highly technical and tactical. It has kept analysts, bookmakers and fans on the edge as the build up heightens.       

We are keenly watching and following the already tense atmosphere of impending encounter closely. Methinks that if Eguaveon, Amuneke and players could squarely face this national assignment with utmost vigour, Ghana though a hard nut to crack would fall. Team Nigeria has the capacity to contain Ghana in all facets. One prays that the Super Eagles would put their feet right as the showdown gets cracking gamely. One prays Nigeria lines up her intimidating squad first in Accra and then the return leg in Abuja to seal off or to confirm a ticket for the Qatar 2022 World Cup tournament in UAE, November.

This columnist would promise the teeming readers of this page every Monday and that this digital newspaper, we will as usual be leading from front to bring you fresh, incisive and exclusive reports to you our huge readers

Keep shooting hard till next week as the struggle continues!!

Source Daily Sports Nigeria

Posted February 28, 2022


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