Super Eagles skipper Peter Osaze Odemwingie is praying a good outing against Ghana’s Black Stars on Tuesday, albeit a friendly, to procure some breathing space for the failing big boys.
The Super Eagles disappointed Nigeria and have come under a heavy national scorn since failing to qualify for the 2012 Cup of Nations tournament on Saturday courtesy a 2-2 draw against the Syli Nationale of Guinea from a group that also included Madagascar and Ethiopia.
The last time the two sides played in a friendly in England (Griffin Park, Brentford) in 2007, the Black Stars pummeled the Super Eagles by 4:1
But Odemwingie, “the leader in the sloppy game on Saturday says that they have no option than to up their game to console Nigerians on their failure to qualify for the Nations Cup on Saturday,” according to a report by Kate Obodo of the Vanguard. “We just have to lift our game and see what we can do to make Nigerians a little bit happy.”
Odemwingie is reported to have admitted he and his colleagues played badly, saying “It has already happened so let’s move on from here and see what we can do to do better next time. It starts with Ghana on Tuesday. Let’s give it our good shot and see if Nigerians can forgive us.”
But Nigerian fans of the Super Eagles don’t seem to take any pride in his aspirations and are asking Odemwingie to just shut up. Says one poster, AdeOgunz; “All talk and no action- Super Eagles! Super Floppers! Welldone Guinea for exposing our Green Chickens who thought they were Super.” And another poster, objectivebuddy says “Can’t understand why Osaze keeps making an a.. of himself! Yesterday he blamed the loss on a prediction, Today it’s about consoling Nigerians with a worthless friendly that they will lose anyway.”
And it is clear the Super Eagles will need to do more than just lifting their game to overcome the confident Black Stars, who descended on Omdurman to subdue Sudan 2:0 also on Saturday in a cliffhanger qualifier for the 2012 Cup of Nations. Ghana and Sudan had tied at 13 points and while the Black Stars needed a draw to pick qualification, they took their fate in their hands and left no doubts about the team’s strengths.
Ghana will face Nigeria with a team from the squad that humbled Sudan on Saturday : Goalkeepers: Adam Larsen Kwarasey and Daniel Agyei. Defenders: Massawudu Alhassan, John Paintsil, Isaac Vorsah, John Mensah, Lee Addy. Midfielders: Samuel Inkoom, Kwadwo Asamoah, Emmanuel Agyeman-Badu, Sulley Muntari, Anthony Annan, Albert Adomah, Abu Mohammed, Derek Boateng, Quincy Owusu-Abeyie and Strikers: Asamoah Gyan, Prince Tagoe and Dominic Adiyiah.
Nigeria named a squad for the match to be played at Watford, England about a fortnight ago and hope to raise a team from among Austin Ejide, Dele Aiyenugba, Chigozie Agbim, Joseph Yobo, Taye Taiwo, Chibuzor Okonkwo, Elderson Echiejile, Efe Ambrose, Dele Adeleye, John Mikel Obi, Ugo Ukah and Nnamdi Oduamadi. The rest are Joel Obi, Fengor Ogude, Kalu Uche, Obinna Nsofor, Ahmed Musa, Osaze Odemwingie, Ike Uche, Emmanuel Emenike, Peter Utaka, Chinedu Obasi, Brown Ideye, Gege Soriola, Emmanuel Ekpo and Nosa Igiebor.