It’s DO or DIE trying for Nigerian Super Eagles


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It’s DO or DIE trying for Nigerian Super Eagles

Nigerian football fans have charged the country’s national soccer side, the Super Eagles, to beat Mali in Friday’s crucial group B encounter at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana. They said a victory for their darling team would salvage Nigeria’s pride, believed to have been dented by the 1-0 loss to Cote d’Ivoire in the group’s opening match Monday. Nigeria needs to win the match, scheduled for Sekondi, to keep alive its hopes of staying in contention at the tournament. The headlines on the sports pages of local newspaper Friday give an indication of the general feeling over the match. ”Super Eagles know fate today” (Daily Independent); ”Die, Eagles die!” (Daily Sun) and ”Eagles in make-or-break tie” (Punch) were some of the headlines. Former Nigerian captain Segun Odegbami said the Eagles’ team campaigning in Ghana faced the possibility of going down in history as the worst to have been sent to the two-yearly competition, if it loses to Mali Friday. Odegbami said in an interview published Friday: ”With reality dawning on them that they could end up with a place in the ugly part of history and with defeat staring them in the face, they will rise up to the occasion.”Analysts said that in recent memory, the highly-rated Super Eagles have not been in such a precarious position as the one in which they have found themselves in the current tournament. If the team loses to Mali Friday, it faces certain elimination in the very first round of the 26th edition of the Nations Cup, despite going into the tou rnament as the top rated African team by the world soccer governing body, FIFA. ”What the team needs at a time like this is the support and understanding of all,” said the soccer-loving former governor of South-east Abia state, Orji Uzor Kalu. Kalu urged the team to shake off the disappointment of losing its first match and beat Mali in order to stay in contention.

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