Super Falcons celebrating after scoring a goal against Mali at the 2016 African Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) in Limbe, Cameroon. PHOTO: CAF
A Soccer analyst, Bright Ejeh has charged the Super Falcons to replicate the AFCON 2000 scenario in Saturday’s AWCON 2016 finals against the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Falcons are seeking their 8th title in the competition while the Lionesses are seeking their maiden title on home soil.
Ejeh, who spoke to NAN in Abakaliki on Saturday, urged the Falcons to employ the same “on and off” field tactics which the Indomitable Lions employed to defeat the Super Eagles in the AFCON 2000 finals in Lagos.
“The lions were buoyed by the feat of beating the Eagles to win the 1984 and 1988 AFCON and they brought such psychological edge to bear in Lagos.
“The Falcons should also replicate this antic as they defeated the Lionesses to win the competition’s last edition in Windhoek, Namibia in 2014,” he said.
Ejeh further stressed that in the 2000 AFCON final, the Lions behaved like those playing at home with various antics which seemingly unsettled the Eagles.
“Their irrepressible skipper, Rigobert Song, sang ceaselessly and physically buoyed every player who seemed to be intimidated by the crowd at the National Stadium, Lagos.
“The Lions took control of the match, and scored two goals within 30 minutes and though the Eagles battled to equalise, the match was in the former’s control.
“During the ensuing penalty shootout, the tension made Victor Ikpeba not to celebrate his goal which crossed the line and was awarded in Cameroon’s favour.
“Television replays showed that the ball crossed the line as the Lions thus stunned a whole nation by winning its third AFCON title, all at Nigeria’s expense,” he said.
He then advised the Falcons to impose a physiological edge over the Lionesses on Saturday by behaving as if they were playing at home.“The girls should not be intimated by the vociferous Cameroon crowd, but psyche themselves to acquire the needed confidence for ultimate victory.
“They should attack from the blast of the whistle, seek total dominance of the game and tighten their defence to check counter-attack incursions by the Lionesses,” he said.
The soccer analyst also advised the Falcons to shun excessive rough tackles and physical contacts with the lionesses while utilising every scoring opportunity at their disposal.
“The Nigerian bench should play a crucial role with the coaches studying the match and making tactical decisions while the substitutes should ceaselessly spur the players on the pitch.
“The players should be patient, avoid anxious quest for goals, and shun unnecessary challenge of referee’s decisions and loss of concentration in the match.
“The Nigerian supporters at the stadium should cheer the team ceaselessly, while the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) should motivate the players by providing all needed incentives,” he said.