NIG v LIB: Olympic Eagles’ coach sure of comeback win


…confirms Uzoho as U-23 first choice


National U-23 team coach, Imama Amakapabo, is confident that the Olympic Eagles will overturn the 2-0 deficit suffered against Libya last week in Tunisia and progress to the next stage of the AFCON qualifiers for this cadre. The match takes place today in Asaba.

The coach said he had trust in his team and would get the necessary result needed to progress in the competition which Nigeria won four years ago under the tutelage coach Samson Siasia. On Wednesday, Nigeria suffered an embarrassing defeat in the first leg despite the array of stars in the team. Amakapabo said: “I always believe in myself and my team and I am sure we are going to overturn the first leg loss in Tunisia and progress to the next round.” The Super Eagles assistant coach also confirmed that Eagles first choice goalkeeper, Francis Uzoho, is the Olympic team’s first choice ahead of the second leg match.

The Nigeria side must score three goals without conceding to progress to the next round of the qualifier. Speaking with cross section of journalists at the Stephen Keshi Stadium on Saturday, the venue of the second leg match, the former Rangers coach said Uzoho would be in goal on Monday. “We had a goalkeeping problem, we had this challenge for quite sometime now and Uzoho is within the age bracket,” he said.

“He is our first choice goalkeeper in the Super Eagles, from the onset, if I had wanted him to travel with us to Tunisia, it would have been so, now he is back in the team and he is going to keep for us on Monday. The mistake against Seychelles doesn’t make him a bad goalkeeper. “I am happy to be saddled with the responsibility, going for the first game, we don’t have enough opportunity to train together, but between Friday and Saturday, we have been able to put together two training session, I am happy with the response of the players.” Apart from Uzoho, Victor Osimhen, Chiedozie Awaziem and Valentine Ozornwafor, all trained with the team on Sunday in a desperate bid by the country to turn around the game against Libya.

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