2018 WORLD CUP QUALIFIER
Tobi Soniyi and Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has said the victory of the Super Eagles over Zambia at the weekend in a 2018 World Cup qualifying match is not only tonic for Nigeria at a time like this, but also a confidence booster that the indomitable Nigerian spirit is well and alive.
In a statement issued yesterday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, the president said the national team had begun its qualifying campaign for Russia 2018 World Cup by beating Zambia 2-1 in Ndola, a development he described as “cheering and soul-lifting.”
The president said it was a sign of good things to come, urging the team not to rest on its oars till it eventually qualified for the global soccer fiesta.
Buhari said: “This is but the first step in a long journey. However, that step has been well taken. An away victory at this level, in which the stakes are quite high, is remarkable. The ultimate is to qualify for Russia 2018, and fly Nigeria’s flag alongside those of other giant soccer playing nations. I look forward to that, and I urge the team and their handlers to always keep their eyes on the ball.”
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has given kudos to the Super Eagles for their win over Zambia.
The party said the outstanding performance of the senior national soccer team has put Nigeria two points ahead of Cameroun and Algeria in Group B of the qualifiers.
In a statement issued by the Head of Publicity, Chinwe Nnorom, the party also praised the effort of the new Super Eagles Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr and his entire team.
“We commend the new Super Eagles Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr and his entire team for their wonderful outing in Zambia and urge him to qualify Nigeria for the Final of the Russia 2018 World Cup.
“We also urge the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) to support the new technical adviser for the overall success of the Super Eagles in the qualifying series,” it said.
The Super Eagles defeated the Chipolopolo of Zambia 2-1 at the Levy Nwanawasa Stadium in Ndola last Sunday afternoon with Arsenal forward, Alex Iwobi and Man City’s Kelechi Iheanacho scoring the two goals.
Nigeria’s next home game against Algeria comes up on November 12 at the Nest of Champions Stadium in Uyo.