NIGERIA made light work of Mozambique in their final group C fixture to join Egypt in the round of 16 but while they achieved it with some relative comfort, Obafemi Martins gave his coach something to think about when he selects his starting team for the Monday’s quarterfinal clash.
The Wolfsburg striker came off the bench to score his team’s third goal and he had a couple of long range shots—his pace caused a few problems for Mozambique defenders.
If it was a test of whether he deserves a place on the starting team then I believe he didn’t do his case any harm.
It was his first outing of the tournament after he had been given time off to solve his personal problems in a London court where he’s answering charges brought against him by his former agent for unpaid commissions.
The Super Eagles have struggled for creativity in the midfield, something that striker Yakubu complained about after the Benin game. The Everton frontman has started all the three group games but he only has one goal (penalty against Benin) to show off for the coach’s faith in him.
Against Mozambique, he was anonymous throughout until he was replaced by Martins who went on to not only score but also caused one or two other scares for the opposition defense.
The former Inter Milan and Newcastle striker scored some important goals during the qualifying campaign including a brace against Kenya in Nairobi, which would automatically make him a starter yet that has been the case, but after his half hour outing against on Wednesday must have surely gave Shoaib Amodu some food for thought.
Amodu has some difficult decisions to make on Monday especially in the striking line. He has to decide whether to stick with the misfiring Yakubu or leave him on the bench and give Martins his first start. Odemwinge’s brace on Wednesday makes him an automatic starter, which means Uche, who started the first two games alongside Yakubu will start on the bench.