LAGOS – Some Nigerian Ex-internationals on Wednesday applauded the performance of the Super Eagles against Argentina in their last Group F match of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Super Eagles lost to Argentina 2-3 in the match, but still team made it to the round of 16, coming second to Argentina with four points.
Joe Erico, a former assistant coach of the Super Eagles, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on telephone shortly after the match that the technical crew led by Stephen Keshi deserved commendation.
He said they deserved praise for their hard work and the Super Eagles had proved their worth as African champions.
“I am glad that we have qualified for the next round. I didn’t expect the goals to be that much, I was stunned that we held our ground.
“We need to intensify more in our midfield and defence line. I am hopeful that we will win our next match,’’ he said.
A former Super Eagles midfielder, Fatai Amoo, said that Nigeria’s advancement to the Round of 16 in the Brazil World Cup was highly commendable.
According to Amoo, Keshi and the other coaches of the Super Eagles should be commended for the impressive skill of the players against the Argentines.
“Our boys have shown much improvement. But I am a bit worried with the tackling that our defence put up right in front of our box.
“The Argentine defence was very careful not to concede free kicks close to their own box.
“Our boys need to be more careful in their tackles as they play France in the Round of 16.
“I strongly believe that with determination, this team will go further into the Round of 8,’’ Amoo said.
Etim Esin, in his reaction, said that the Super Eagles had played well to qualify for the round of 16.
He said that credit should go to Ahmed Musa who came scoring each time the Argentine team scored.
“Musa woke up today; he proved his worth as a striker. This is what we expect of him.
“We also thank God that Bosnia Herzegovina defeated Iran, 3-1 because this gave us the chance to progress,’’ Etim said.
He warned that the team should be more careful in the defence as they meet the winner of Group B.
Paul Hamilton, an ex international and former national team coach, described the match as a hectic one in which the Super Eagles had to step up their game.
He gave credit to the team for putting up a good fight and congratulated them for qualifying for the round of 16.
“The result is a good one, because it shows they can score and put up a good fight. They need to be more careful at the defence, especially in the way they tackle.
“We want to see more of this display as they progress to the next round,’’ Hamilton said.
Also Tunde Popoola, the Secretary-General, Nigeria Olympic Committee, commended the players for a brilliant performance so far at the mundial.
He said that the team fought hard in the match against Argentina.
“It is good Bosnia helped out by making us qualify to the round of 16 by beating Iran.
“I was impressed by the quality of play exhibited by Nigerian players; believe me, they can do better.
“Bosnia made us enter the second round and I charge them to intensify more efforts in the next round,’’ he said.(NAN)