Former international, Felix Owolabi, is happy with the Super Eagles’ goalless scoreline in the match against Ghana’s Black Stars, provided it would spur the team to beat the Ghanaians on Tuesday at the M.K.O Bashorun Abiola Stadium to secure the ticket to Qatar 2022.
Nigeria, on Friday, held hosts, Ghana, to a barren draw in the first leg of the World Cup play off at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi. Both teams will clash again on Tuesday for the football Mundial qualification.
Speaking to The Guardian, yesterday, Owolabi said that the Eagles’ midfield was non-existent in the first duel, adding that for Nigeria to beat Ghana, it must make sure the midfield functions and connects properly with the strikers.
“What is more important in the first leg was that the boys were able to hold their own by not losing to the Ghanaians in away fixture. It was a 50/50 match chance for both teams in Kumasi but to me the draw was a win to us.
“My advice to the boys now is that they should not allow it to get into their heads. They should get ready for the second leg and play better than they did in Kumasi. In the first leg, the Ghanaians attacked more than our boys did, probably, that was part of the plans of the coach to ensure at least a draw, if they can’t win,” he said.
The former Eagles’ attacker added, “This time around, on Tuesday, I expect the boys to come out and attack, qualify and get us on the train to Qatar 2022. It will be a disaster as far as I am concerned if Nigeria fails to claim the ticket to join other countries going to the World Cup.
“The coach needs to work on every department of the team, particularly, the midfield linking the attack. The coaching crew needs to do plenty of work in the midfield because it was absent in the first leg that I watched.
“Osimhen did not have a single shot on target because there were no supplies from the midfield throughout the duration of the match. We need midfielders, who could collect the ball from the defenders and distribute it to the attackers.
“A midfielder, who is possessive and can create space for Osimhen to score goals for us. Strikers can only score goals when they are being supplied with balls. We should also work on set pieces to get goals in case we don’t have the opportunity to do that during run of play.
“Lastly, we need the support of the Abuja fans, who also need to be there and support the Eagles en masse. This what the Ghanaians fans did for their team, which we must replicate here in Abuja, by rooting for the Eagles team to win.
“We want to see the same patriotism shown by our supporters come Tuesday. Their support is all what we need because anything that affects the Eagles, affects us; if they win, we too have won. I wish them the best of luck,” he stated.