Sunday, April 18, 2021

Libya a bigger threat than South Africa, Owolabi warns Eagles


tiamin rice

Former International, Felix Owolabi has described as a serious threat the statement credited to Libyan coach, Adel Amrouche that Nigeria would be easier for them than South Africa in the Cameroun 2019 African Nations Cup qualifying series. Libya held the Bafana Bafana to a goalless draw in South Africa, while Nigeria defeated Seychelles 2-0 in Victoria on matchday two at the weekend.

The Guardian recalls that Libya’s Coach, Adel Amrouche was coach of Kenya in 2013 when they held Nigeria to a 1-1 draw in Calabar. Amrouche was banned by the Confederation of African Football four years ago after allegedly spitting at the referee while coaching Kenya in the Comoros. Owolabi, who won the Nations Cup in 1980 with the Eagles, advised Super Eagles coaches to work harder to build a team for the double header against Libya, saying it would be disastrous for Nigeria to miss another Nations Cup.

Libya currently tops Group E of the CAF qualifiers with four points, while Nigeria is third with three points.Speaking to The Guardian yesterday, Owolabi said what he saw in the Libya versus South Africa game should give the Eagles’ handlers a cause for concern, adding, “There is a transformation going on all over Africa now. Every country today is getting new players and new coaches that will give them the kind of results they desire. And it is the calibre of coaches and players that you get that will help determine your strength.

“Now, it is no more names, and Coach Gernot Rohr must be very careful. He must work very hard and improve on his tactics. Our win over Seychelles to me was not a big deal. They are not a competitive country and the Eagles can only be assessed against a tough opponent, which Libya has built.”

According to the former Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) technical committee member, “Every player in that team is very strong, agile, determined and ready to roar. They play like a compact team, a team that knows what it wants. They executed a good match plan against South Africa and they got a result. If they are playing at home, they can beat any team.

“Their coach said he was not interested in the money, but service to humanity and that he wants to prove a point to the world that he is very good and that he has a good team that will pose a threat to big teams. We must watch out,” Owolabi stated.Libya will host Nigeria in Algeria on October 13 three days after the Nigerian leg in either Kaduna or Asaba. They played their first game of the qualifiers at the Petro Sport Stadium in Cairo, where they defeated Seychelles 5-1.

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