After the scoreless draw in Kigali, the super eagles returned home agonizing for a failed mission.
The super eagles had originally planned for a win in Rwanda but were disappointed by the scoreless draw. The super eagles had pulled all their triggers for the Kigali encounter but their mission was cancelled by a resurgent Amavubi side.
As the super eagles returned home, the Nigerian football federation president (NFF) Aminu Maigari assured the super eagles fans that the NFF would apply all possible machinery to see treat that Nigeria get past the qualification phase.
When I a read Mr. Maigari’s comments on goal.com website I realized his stance and the willingness to sort the super eagles woes. My impression was that the Nigeria football Federation boss is ready to apply all possible measures to make sure the super eagles beat Amavubi in the return leg.
Nigeria would suffer a huge setback if they failed to get past the wasps in the return leg and fail to qualify for the 2013 Afcon in South Africa.
Nigeria is ranked among top football countries not only in Africa but also worldwide. Imagine if Rwanda beat Nigeria, could be like a 10-year old child challenging an adult of 30-years.
Modern football in Rwanda has come in the post-genocide era where as Nigerians have had soccer development for over 30 years with regular participation in FIFA world cup and other top soccer events in the world.
Now the concern for the wasps and coach Micho syrodenovic is to make sure the mission against the super eagles is completed come the return leg in mid-June.
Based on what I learnt, the wasps did not get adequate time to prepare for first leg clash as the super eagles did.
Though the super eagles team comprise of many European based professionals, the team had a series of friendlies before the Kigali clash and Coach Keshi had enough time to experiment his players.
It should be Micho’s turn now to plan for Nigeria scalp early enough ahead of the return leg. Though the wasps did not concede goals in Kigali, they have technical issues to address.
Gasana ‘Mbuyu’ Twite and Patrick Mafisango played brilliantly well as center backs and did not allow the opponent chance to get into the penalty box so often and this was the only perfect area for the wasps.
One of the biggest concerns for the wasps is to seek solutions on how to neutralize Nigeria threat from the wings. Kalisa Mao the wasps right back played well but could not match the brilliance of fast and skilled Nigerian wingers. He was beaten on so many occasions and conceding unnecessary tackles that would give opponent chance to take the lead.
Same situation applied to Jean Claude Iranzi, the wasps left back. He was so lively in the whole game but was also beaten by a tricky Nigerian winger plying his football in the local Nigeria football league.
Micho will have to seek the equation on how to stop the eagle’s from use of wings to attack the Amavubi goal in the return leg. Both Amavubi internationals are very good players and performed well during their eagle’s encounter but just lack stamina on how to stop dynamic and skilled opponents.
Coach Micho should expect a different attitude from his opponents in the return leg. The return leg will be a fierce battle as the eagle’s will be playing in front their home supporters.
I think Micho should make changes in the middle field and attack. Jean-Baptiste Mugiraneza played well during the return leg but could not meet the strength of Dickson Etuhu. He lost some balls due to lack of pace and physical strength. I feel Micho should work hard to get a stronger replacement.
The Amavubi captain Olivier Karekezi’s role in attack should be revised. He is very good with the ball, but worse when he loses the ball. He does not run a lot and certainly do not work hard to regain the ball from the opponent when he losses stability with the ball.
Bokota Labama should be the right man to start the game a head of the experienced APR FC striker. Labama came on early second half and disorganized the Nigerian defense.
Joseph Yobo and his fellow defenders could not match his pace and skills. Bokota will be the key man come the return leg in Lagos.