ABUJA – Football fans on Monday in Abuja said the Super Eagles opened their match so casually against Iran at the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
A cross section of those who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) after the Group F match, said though it was a technical game, Nigeria still tried their best to hold Iran to a goalless match.
Nigeria managed a drab draw against a less fancied Iranian side in the second Group F match against Iran.
Group favourites, Argentina, had on Sunday showed class by running over Bosnia 2-1 to head the group.
Danladi Nasidi, the Coach of National U-15 team, said the game was highly technical, adding that more experienced players were needed to start the match in the first half.
He said Nigeria had so many chances in the first half but were too casual about the game.
“The match was played technically; our boys were so casual while Iran was defensive but I must say that it was a technical match.
“ In our next match, Mikel should be brought forward and our experienced players should start the match first, not waiting till the second half,“ he said.
Coach Tijjani Sunday of Stallion Academy said the match was okay but more was expected from the team.
He expressed optimism that Super Eagles would perform better in their next match. Mr Ifeayi Okoro, a businessman, said he was not impressed about the team’s performance, stating that their passes were inaccurate and did not look ready for the game.
He said they had the opportunity to win the match but they were too slow and not set for the challenge.
“Our players were just indecisive; they didn’t seem to know what to do with the ball; their passes were inaccurate; the long passes were a complete mess.“
Mr Shola Oloyede, a student, said Super Eagles did not seem to have a game plan, stating that they had to improve before their next match.
He said if they continued to play in that manner, the boys would soon be home after the group stage matches.
In spite of the match result, some soccer enthusiasts expressed confidence on the ability of the Super Eagles to get better as the tournament progressed.
A cross-section of such enthusiasts in Abuja said even though the Eagles did not record a victory as expected, the team would get better as the tourney progressed.
Tijanni Babangida, an ex-international and Chairman of FC Taraba, said that the result was a blessing in disguise, adding that the Super Eagles were always slow starters.
“You recall that even on their way to becoming the African champions they started slowly but picked up form in the latter stages of the tournament.
“I believe they would step up their game in the next two matches and hopefully progress to the second round,” he said.
Tunde Poopola, the Secretary General of Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), said much was expected from the Eagles, but all hope was not lost.
“Everyone expected the team to win this game comfortably but I must confess that Iran were very solid in defence today.
“What that tells you is that you can never write-off any team in this tournament because if you do, you might get punished.
“We saw what happened to teams like Spain and Uruguay; that’s what you get when you underrate your opponents.
“Having said that, I believe the Eagles will perform much better in their next match as the coach must have seen one or two lapses in the team and would hopefully correct them,” he said.
Godwin Bamigboye, Chairman, Nigeria Football Coaches Association (NFCA), FCT Chapter, said he had confidence in the ability of the team, adding that Coach Keshi only needed to perfect the team’s tactics and strategy.
“The team we saw today is capable of beating any side in this World Cup but I think the problem is not about the players but rather the team’s tactics.
“The coach (Keshi) played only a striker up front for a long period of time in the game which ought not to be so, especially because the Iranians played a more defensive game.