Why Super Eagles Will Win 2021 Africa Cup Of Nations In Cameroon
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By Amaechi Agbo
The super Eagles of Nigeria on Wednesday arrived Garoua, Cameroon where they will begin campaign for their 4th Africa football crown.
The team which had just a week camping in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital, departed Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja by 8pm and arrived Garoua around 11pm.
The team, coached by former player, Augustine Eguavoen are paired in ground D along Egypt (whom they will play on Tuesday), Sudan and Guinea Bissau.
Prior to their departure from Nigeria and arrival to Cameroon, the team’s Abuja camping was distorted by several withdrawals and uncertainties about players availability.
Key players such as Victor Osimhen, Paul Onuachu and Peter Etebo all pulled out due to injuries.
Emmanuel Dennis was excused from the team as he showed no desire to play for his father’s land while the availability of Saudi Arabia based striker, Odion Jude Ighalo has remained confounding.
However, with all these “setbacks”, with the team arriving in Cameroon with 25 out of 28 invited players, it is not yet a doomsday for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON champions.
The three times Africa kings, Super Eagles of Nigeria is one of the biggest national team in Africa. They are the side with the highest number of medals in the history of the 65 years old fiesta so far totalling Three gold medals in 1980, 1994 and 2013.
They won the silver medals in 1984, 1988, 1990 and 2000. They have the highest number of bronze medals in 1976, 1978, 1992, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2010 and 2019. Totalling 15 medals all through from 1957 till date.
History favour the side to win the “Africa’s World Cup” with obvious reasons. lf the Super Eagles preparation to any major competition is having a red flag or Question mark, they go all out and perform so well.
During the preparation to the Cup of Nations in 1988 in Morroco, the side handled by German born Manfred Honner preparation prior to winning the second placed by whisker was questionable.
During the two weeks fiesta late Stephen keshi, the team captain was plying Belgium to Morocco. The 88 class were great players that also lncluded the present caretaker coach Austin Eguavoen but preparation was shambolic.
Two years later, prior to Algier 90, the new gaffer, Clemen Westerhof assembled an avanlache of green horns like Herbert Anijekwu, Daniel Amokachi, Uche okechukwu, Aminu Abdul, Ayo Ogunlana who ply their trade in the domestic league alongside handfull of foreign players like Ademola Adesina, Rashidi Yekini, Friday Elaho.
The team came second after losing to the Desert Warriors of Algeria by a lone in the final match.
The 1992, 1994, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010 Nations Cup editions respectively were taken with level of seriousness but the 2013 class that have Stephen Keshi as the gaffer of the team prior to the edition were underated. Hugely underated so much so that the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF did not believe that the team would reach the semi-finals.
Eventually they won the Nations Cup. The imagination of not preparing adequately for a tournament and perform creditably well is very common among an average Nigeria side ranging from U-17, U-20 and the U-23 level.
The super Eagles can win the trophy based on odd that favour the side if a Nigeria side prepare adequately for a competition. They always come out determined to shock doubters.
The current upcoming 33rd edition of AFCON that will be hosted by an eastern neighbour ( Cameroun), Super Eagles preparation have not been so outstanding.
The issue of player injury, Covid-19 pandemic, lateness of players to camp due to there club sides abracadabra are among the problems of the Eagles.
If the spirit of the great Nigeria works as espoused above, the Super Eagles can win the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, in Cameron 8 9 years after lifting it in South Africa.