Football stakeholders in Enugu have hailed the Super Eagles for Monday’s 2-2 draw with the Italian national team in a friendly match in London.
They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the game showed that the Eagles were gradually blending and maturing into a strong side.
A Director in the Enugu State Sports Council, Edwin Eze, said the match was encouraging, considering the time limit available to prepare for it.
“The Eagles played two matches within three days; besides Italy has always been a world class football nation.
“The Azzurris took advantage of our teams’ fatigue from the Ethiopian match in the first 20 minutes before the Eagles showed determination to prove their mettle.
“The draw was not a bad result considering the level of our backline exposure,” Eze said.
Also reacting, former Rangers FC of Enugu player, Earnest Ufele, said the match was a good one for the Eagles.
“The Eagles were determined to carry the day but met a determined and skilful side in Italy and that was why we drew the match.
“As the African champions, the Eagles were determined to show it to the world as they got 2-2 in such a high profile match after 48 hours of the Ethiopian match
“It is the Eagles determination that saw them through in the match,” he said.
Ufele said that Eagles made Africans proud and urged the technical team led by Stephen Keshi to strengthen the Super Eagles defence before the World Cup.
On his part, Charles Otunwa, a football fan, expressed satisfaction with the draw in spite of the Azzuris’ early scare.
“Nigeria is growing in maturity everyday; I could not believe the result if I did not watch it myself.
“The Eagles playing two high profile matches in three days without being shattered is unbelievable; come Brazil 2014 World Cup, the whole world will know that Nigeria is back,” Otunwa said.
Also reacting, the Secretary of the Enugu State Football Association, Sunday Ugwu, said the Eagles surprised him with their game.
He also said the friendly would help the technical crew to correct the lapses in the team.
On his part, Foster Chime, an official of the Rangers of Enugu FC, said he was happy with the draw.
“Without doubt, the Eagles will be a team to reckon with at the Brazil 2014 World Cup,’’ Chime said.