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AWKA – Some football coaches in Anambra have expressed satisfaction with the standard of the opening match of the 2014 World Cup between host Brazil and Croatia.

Selecao of Brazil trounced their Eastern European opponents 3-1 on Thursday at Sao Paulo.

Harrison Okagbue, a former coach of Cranes of Uganda, told NAN on Friday in Awka that the Croatians gave a good account of themselves against the Brazilians.

Okagbue said that they were physically and tactically fit like the Brazilians, but lacked the ability to shoot, which according to him, is necessary for a team to score.

The ex-international also commended the officials of the match for being above board, pointing out that most of the referee’s decisions in the match were correct.

“Croatians were very okay on the pitch but they lacked the power to shoot, they should know how to use the three zones in the attack.

“Shooting, placing and touching zones, every good attacking side should know when to use whichever.

“Officiating was the last arbiter of any game, more importantly it did not end in a stalemate and the referee controlled the game.

“He is not a saint, he is bound to make minor mistakes which we must accept for the penalty, it was a penalty kick because the defender was holding the attacker down,” he said.

In the same vein, Paul Obiakor, a retired Team Anambra football coach, said the defence line of the Selecao was well structured and absolved Vieira Marcelo of any blame for the own goal.

Obiakor, who plied his trade for Rangers International FC of Enugu between 1979 and 1989, told NAN that the referee was right to deny the goal the Croatians scored.

He stressed that it was a correct decision because goalkeepers had to be protected, especially when they are on air.

Obiakor said the Samba boys were smart to see the weakness of the Croatian goalkeeper, Stipe Pletikosa in responding to balls placed on his right side.

He singled out Oscar dos Santos as his man of the match.

He advised the Super Eagles to strive to dictate the pace in their games so that they could effectively execute their game plans during matches.

Obiakor noted that the complacency of the Brazilian team almost cost them the match before they recovered through the two goals scored by Neymar dos Santos.

“No country is a push over, every country is deadly and you cannot underrate.

“We shall see if Super Eagles should try to dictate the pace in their matches, I hope they will do well,” he said. (NAN)

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