A cross-section of football enthusiasts in Enugu on Tuesday hailed the Super Eagles for brightening the country’s chances of qualification for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cameroon.
A brace by Odion Ighalo and another from team captain Ahmed Musa ensured that the Eagles lead Group E with nine points.
They are ahead of South Africa who has eight points from four games.
Some enthusiasts who spoke with journalists praised the Super Eagles players for their gallant fight in the match played in Sfax, Tunisia.
Rangers International FC’s Media Officer, Norbert Okolie, said it was noteworthy that the Eagles dug deep for the result.
He, however, pointed out that the team’s coaching crew still needed to work on the defence and the goalkeeping area.
“Nigeria is a household name in African football and deserved the victory. But the victory did not come cheap.
“It was a sweet victory, considering its importance and the place it has given to us on the road to 2019 AFCON in Cameroon.
“With nine points in the group, we are well positioned as we have only two matches to go.
“So, the Eagles need to get a draw in South Africa in our next match and beat Seychelles at home to wrap up the qualification,” he said.
Also, Ebere Amaraizu, the Team Manager of an Enugu-based Nigeria National League (NNL) club side, said the team did well.
He, however, insisted that the team still needed to improve to eliminate acts of being jittery, as was displayed during the game.
“Nigeria players are professionals and do not need to concede cheap goals the way they did against the Libyan team that was not equal to their level.
“But we thank God for Ighalo who restored the lead to ensure the Eagles pocketed the three points at stake,” Amaraizu said.
Franklin Ibekwe, a corps member serving in Enugu, said Nigeria did not seem to have a solid team that could compete with teams from countries like England, Spain and Portugal.
He said Tuesday’s match showed that the players were not coordinated, lacked confidence and could not hold the ball.
Ibekwe said he expected a more matured game and that the Eagles did not live up to his expectations, even as they did well to pick the three points.
Chijioke Okonkwo, a businessman, also noted that the Nigerian team’s style of play was disappointing especially considering that it played against a less experienced team in Libya.
“I cannot imagine what would have been the outcome if Nigeria had played against England or the France team now,” he said.
Okonkwo also noted that the Libyans are no longer pushovers in African football, and Nigeria had to play against them with experience.
“Beating the Libyans was not easy at all.’’