AFCON 2023: As Nigeria Takes On Guinea Bissau, Vigilance Key!

By Victor Enyinnaya on January 22, 2024

Africa Cup of Nations football summit is ongoing in Ivory Coast the host country.  It should be noted that the tournament has produced many upsets since it kicked-off however like the game of football at the end it is only the fittest that would continue going till the curtain is drawn.As the tough would keep going, analysts and bookmakers would continue to be on their edges because there is likely be more surprising results coming. Needless to point out here that our Super Eagles team is part and parcel of the sides that have found their bearing for now.  Since the game against host country, Ivory Coast the Nigerian team no doubt gained more confidence and now can safely be said to be sure footed on ground.It is also safe to say that it was after that epic game and pundits now added Nigeria as contenders rather than pretenders to the ongoing championship. Needless to say that it was one hell of  football match between age old teams and the result was not so surprising going by tradition however not with the kind of team Nigeria parades in this tournament that is neither here nor there.Truth is that the match plan, tactical approach and execution were so clinical that Ivorian side was not given breathing space to operate enduringly.  In short, Super Eagles players played strictly to instruction and it worked perfect against more technical playing Ivorian Elephants team.It has remained the best game ever by the team since the Portugese took charge of the giant West African squad. I have closed myself to any further this or that about Peseiro but pray that the spirit of resilience that always come handy when the chips are down never desert the lads whenever the tide is high in the ongoing Africa’s most prestigious biannual football contest.
Now what keen followers of Nigerian teams may likely refer to as endemic is reported exceedingly in the media and that is the naughty issue of payment of the boys’ entitlements. According reports, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is finding it difficult to do this and that which would facilitate transfer of funds to the boys.
If that anomaly has not been rectified by people concerned then something very fundamental is totally wrong with the system. This is one sport that has brought succor millions of Nigerian funs and sundry that such nasty report is emanating from. I must confess that when I read that report, I was not shocked in any form rather I moved on because haven covered many international meets these issues have been there.
It is instructive to note that this kind of story can never be heard when it concerns the politicians and the leaders. Their allowances and other up keeps are paid upfront without any hassle. Nothing about such is read in the media whatsoever but when it comes to real Nigerians that are using their raw talents to bring honour to the father land; it will be when CBN would have issues transferring whatever funds.
As did say, I never prayed that the report be fake news because I knew inside out that it is Nigerian way rather what I said was that such should not be allowed to dampen the high spirits in the Nigerian camp far away in Ivory Coast where their attention must be fully focused on the task ahead.  
Whatever would be done to sustain the tempo of winning and winning by the boys should be humanly applied because it is the only language numerous fans that throng their television sets would love to hear as nothing would be good and great enough for them.
To them the Eagles team is doing well. To them the boys are championship stuff and so must earnestly focus on the tournament. To the others haven defeated Elephants of Ivory Coast, trophy is nearer to the Super Eagles and so nothing, absolutely nothing must derail such tall dream. Many theories and if’s going on as Nigeria gears up to take on her last group opponent, Guinea Bissau in what many may have seen as an easy ride game.  The technical bench and the boys knew what is at stake and would approach the match full blast until the ticket to the round of 16 teams is in the kitty.It is football and so no team that qualified to this final is push over. One prays that this Bissau side that has proved a weeping side extend such to the Super Eagles today. My last line here is that on paper it seems, but Eagles must be vigilant of this kind of fixture, though the game between Ivory Coast and Equatorial Guinea would be more deadly as both sides would be poised to pick one of the tickets in the group. 
It must noted that while the Guineans’ would be looking for a draw to add up the Ivoirians would go for outright win otherwise the host country would eliminated from the tournament that scenario has made the game more dicey and so keen observers’ eyes are on ball in this particular now or never match.
As we keep our fingers crossed though we must not close our eyes to the fact that much still need to be done on the Nigerian team if the side picks the next round ticket. After this group games, the next rounds are survival of the fittest as there is no second chance. The drumming beat would change as well as the name of the tournament to elimination series. It meant that from thence on, a winner must emerge in all games so that the game would move on.
The next stage then is where technical and tactical discipline of a team comes handy and so, one believes that Peseiro and his team are equal to the task of bracing up decisively to this critical and crucial next round of games. It where technical approach of teams come up glaringly clear and results being amass. We will anchor on this note and see you dear readers after today’s match against Guinea Bissau and possibly the next opponent of the Super Eagles in the round of 16?. Keep shooting hard till next week. Meanwhile we wait!! 

Source Daily Sports Nigeria

Posted January 22, 2024


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