Eagles Deserve Praise For Their Efforts'
Ex-internationals Mutiu Adepoju and Nwankwo Kanu have praised the Super Eagles after their 2-1 victory over Ethiopia’s Walya Antelopes in their first leg 2014 World Cup playoff, labelling the team’s’ performance as “fantastic”.
African champions Nigeria came from behind to pick up maximum points courtesy of Fenerbhace striker Emmanuel Emenike’s brace at the Addis Ababa Stadium on Sunday.
The result means the Eagles will enter the return leg fixture in Calabar on November 16 with a three-point advantage, and the former Eagles duo are backing the team to seal their place at the Brazil 2014 finals.
“It was a fantastic performance from the Eagles and they deserve praise for their efforts,” Adepoju, who represented Nigeria at the USA ’94 and France ’98 World Cups, told our correspondent on the telephone on Sunday.
“It was a difficult match for us, because the Ethiopians are a very good side. They gave us a good fight and It’s good we didn’t concede in the first-half.
“It’s good we won so we can now go to Calabar for the second leg and finish the job.”
The former Real Santander midfield star hailed the impact of Emenike in the encounter, saying he was “fantastic”.
“His first goal was great and Ethiopia defenders will remember it for a long time.”
The Tunisia’94 Africa Cup of Nations winner refused to blame goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama for misjudging a cross that led to the Walya Antelopes’ goal.
“It happens in football, but the most important thing is that we won,” Adepoju said.
“We should avoid costly mistakes in the second leg because the Ethiopians will fight like wounded lions.
“And we shouldn’t allow the victory to go to our heads because no match is won until the final whistle.
“But I believe we’ll beat them again.”
Atlanta’96 Olympic Games winner Kanu praised the Eagles for “winning the match for everybody”.
“This victory is for everybody, let’s work harder and finish the job in the second leg,” the former Eagles captain wrote on Facebook after the encounter.
He commended the effort of Emenike in scoring the brace that helped Nigeria win the clash.