Football enthusiasts in Enugu have called on the Nigeria Football Federation to begin to rebuild the Super Eagles before their future competitive engagements.
They made the call following the Super Eagles’ 1-1 draw against the Black Stars of Ghana at the second leg of the World Cup qualifier played at the Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja on Tuesday.
The draw saw the exit of Nigeria from the Qatar World Cup fiesta as the first leg played in Kumasi, Ghana, on March 25, also ended in a goalless draw.
Some of the enthusiasts who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said that the better team (Ghana) won the match and that the Nigerian players lost because of over-confidence.
Norbert Okolie, Rangers Media Officer, said the Super Eagles’ performance was not what most Nigerians expected and that Nigerians expected a massive win.
He said the visitors’ early goal gave them confidence and put Super Eagles players under pressure and that Super Eagles did not overcome the pressure after equalising the game.
“After the equaliser, we had opportunities to win the match but the players decided to play as if nothing was at stake.
“It is painful that Nigeria is not going to the World Cup, but all the same, all we need now is to go back to the drawing board.
“We have to rebuild the team; get them ready for future tournaments to avoid the same story,’’ he said.
Okolie said the team should be blamed generally for performing below expectation except for Victor Osihmen, who tormented the visitors’ defence throughout the match.
He said that the goalkeeper, Francis Uzoho, remained the best among the current Nigerian goalkeepers in spite of his error in the match.
Christian Oduma, Chairman of Enugu State Grassroots Football Managers Association, said the players’ woeful performance made him doubt if they were the ones who played the first leg in Ghana.
“I do not know what came over the players because they did not even play up to what they played at the first leg.
“Apart from Victor Osihmen who was hustling for the ball, others were not in the game. Imagine the central defence that used to be solid became porous in the match.
“Well, it has come and gone and there is no need to cry over spilled milk. We need to move on by grooming good players that will make the country proud in future tournaments,’’ Mr Oduma said.
In another reaction, Ibuchukwu Nwodo, former Chairman, Rangers Supporters Club, said the players tried their best but luck was not on their side.
“I wish the first leg ended 1-1. The players know that they have offended millions of their supporters.
“While we needed to be at the World Cup, let us remember that it is not our birthright.”