Nigeria national football team players pose prior to the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying football match between Nigeria and Cameroon at Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, southern Nigeria, on September 1, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / PIUS UTOMI EKPEI
• Wants Ezenwa In Goal
Former Green Eagles Goalkeeper, Joseph Erico has said that the nation should be thinking of winning the World Cup and not how to qualify for the event. Nigeria meets Zambia in a crucial Group B qualifier today.
The match holds at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State and an Eagles’ victory will make the last group qualifier a mere formality.
Speaking to The Guardian yesterday, Erico said the nation has so many quality players that should always qualify Eagles for every World Cup, adding, however, that harnessing these talents has always been the country’s bane.
“By now we should not be bothered about qualification rather we should be concerned on how to win the World Cup someday. It is all about packaging and working towards it.
“I played against the Zambians in my days and I know what they can do. These guys play like the German machines. I think if they were not ready for war, they would not have beaten the Algerians in their backyard or even draw with Cameroun in Yaoundé. I hope they will not spoil our day,” he said.
He added, however, “the good thing about our boys is that they too are ready and well prepared to finish the job they started in Ndola. I think these boys need the World Cup more than the fans. I am optimistic we will beat them and qualify for the World Cup.”
Erico, who was onetime assistant coach of the team, tipped Ikechukwu Ezenwa of IfeanyiUbah FC to be in goal for the Eagles.
According to him, the choice of Ezenwa against the mouthy Zambians was because of his calmness in goal. He quickly added that nothing should be taken away from Daniel Akpeyi, who he thinks is also good.
“Why I prefer Ezenwa is that he is calmer and articulating. Although Akpeyi too is good, I think Ezenwa is better for the game against the Zambians based on my assessment,” he stated.