Don’t Write Off Djibouti, Swaziland, Akpoborie Warns | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Don’t Write Off Djibouti, Swaziland, Akpoborie Warns

Posted: Jul 27, 2015 at 12:02 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Augustine Aikhilomen, Lagos

Following Saturday’s World Cup draws, where the Super Eagles was pitched against the winner of the match between Djibouti and Swaziland, ex international, Jonathan Akpoborie, has advised Sunday Oliseh-led technical crew not to take either teams for granted.

Gbolahon Salami

Gbolahon Salami

Drawn bye from the first round of the African qualifiers, Nigeria begins its campaign for a place at the 2018 finals in Russia in November 2015.

The Super Eagles will be away to either Djibouti or Swaziland in the match.

However, Akpoborie, who won bronze medal at the 1992 and 2000 Africa Cups of Nation with the senior national team, told Daily Independent Correspondent that Oliseh has been giving an easy draw which he must utilise.

“Well, Swaziland shouldn’t be a team we should be considering when you talk about football in Africa. In normal circumstances, Nigerian football is not in that place where we would say the team will beat these teams. But since we have employed a new coach in Sunday Oliseh, we hope he’s going to take us to places. He couldn’t have asked for a better start because that is a match that could be used to evaluate what he’s made off. I just hope he’ll take his chances as they come.

The former Wolfsburg striker believed that Djibouti or Swaziland may be considered a weak team on paper; however, he cautioned Oliseh not to experiment with the team, urging him to invite quality players that would get him the result.

“Look, this is World Cup qualifying matches, regardless of the team you are playing. Even if you are playing school children, you have to beat them very well. It is national team and not a match where you experiment,” he said.

“All qualifying matches are meant to be won and if he loses that match, everybody will call for his head. So it depends on how he wants to approach it. If he feels he wants to bring in local players to prosecute that match, that will be his own cup of tea. All Nigerians want to see is for the team to qualify for the World Cup,” he said.

Continuing, Akpoborie said: “But we saw our U-23 play some days ago and the team actually played good football even though the finishing was very poor. Apart from that, the team has been consistent when it comes to scoring goals. I see no reason why we shouldn’t be able to beat either Djibouti or Swaziland. But then, I don’t know if we have the players to defeat any of these two teams. “We have talents that can get the job done for Nigeria but the coaches must put in more hardwork to discover them.”