Three exquisite second half goals assists from Shooting Stars of Ibadan midfield ace, Philip Asuquo, was all Nigeria’s Super Eagles needed to overcome a stubborn Prisons FC of Abuja 4-0, in their last tune-up game before their international friendly against the Menas of Niger Republic Wednesday.
Before Asuquo’s introduction in the second half, the Eagles parading their first team had managed a lone goal scored in the 13th minute by gangling defender, Azubuike Egwueke, after a well taken corner kick by Solomon Kwambe in the game played at the FIFA Goal Project site in Abuja, Sunday morning.
The Prisons team coached by Randy Eotye, had looked the brighter of the two sides in the early part of the game, with their dangerman, Alphonsus Egaji forcing a double save from first choice goalie, Chigozie Agbim in as early as the fifth minute.
But the Eagles soon regrouped and unleashed Benjamin Francis, Ejike Uzoenyi, Sunday Mba and Uche Kalu on the opposition but poor finishing was their undoing until Egwueke’s goal.
A pleased Stephen Keshi, said he had assured Nigerians that his team will start scoring goals earlier than anticipated and that seem to be coming sooner than even expected.
Eotye on his part said he did not expect a lesser performance from the all-home based Eagles.
He however admonished the side to be a little more composed in their games, as that was absent in the match against his side.
“Yes, we may have lost 4-0, but I will advise Coach Keshi to work on the composure of the boys. They seem to lack self-belief at a point and that gave our boys some impetus to attack them. If they get that right the team will go places,” he declared.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), at the weekend changed the travel plans of the senior national team by bringing it forward to Sunday evening after considering the logistics and security implications of the team traveling by road through Sokoto to the Nigerien capital; Niamey.
The team made of 23 players, technical crew and backroom staff will leave the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport for Niger on Sunday evening for the friendly that will take place on Wednesday in Niamey.
Eagles spokesman, Ben Alaiya, quotes Team Secretary, Dayo Enebi Achor, as saying that the change in plan was both strategic and at a cost to the federation but added that no matter what, the safety and security of any national team comes first to the football house.
The team is expected to land in Niger, Sunday evening and starts training for the friendly on Monday.
“We will have at least two quality training session to prepare for the match and that will help the boys to be ready for the task ahead and particularly, the upcoming Nations Cup qualifier against Liberia in September,” Keshi declared.
Meanwhile, Keshi has released Sunshine Stars skipper, Godfrey Oboabona, midfielder Izu Azuka and goalie Moses Ocheje, to the Akure-based side for their Champions League confrontation against Algerian side ASO Chlef on Friday August 17.
Only full back Solomon Kwambe, was retained by Keshi for the game against Niger on Wednesday. All three players are expected to rejoin the team on return from the encounter.