Etim Carpets Eagles Over Poor Away Run | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Etim Carpets Eagles Over Poor Away Run

Posted: Nov 27, 2015 at 8:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

A former international, Etim Esin, has stated that Sunday Oliseh would need to considerably improve on the Super Eagles’ poor away record and form in front of goal if he plans on securing tickets to both the Gabon 2017 Africa Cup of Nations and the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup. The Super Eagles are not the most consistent side in the world when it comes to recording wins on the road. In fact, the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations winners have only won four games away from home since claiming the AFCON title in South Africa.

The Super Eagles, while under the tutelage of Stephen Keshi, defeated Kenya and Ethiopia on the road during the qualifiers for the Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup. They also defeated Congo 2-0 in an AFCON 2015 qualifier in Pointe Noire. But, during the same period, the Super Eagles lost away games to lowly sides such as Sudan and Jordan, and could only play out an uninspiring 1-1 draw with Namibia in a Brazil 2014 World Cup qualifier.

They haven’t fared any better under Sunday Oliseh as they struggled to grind out away draws against Tanzania (in a 2017 AFCON qualifier) and Swaziland (in a Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier). The Super Eagles are currently second behind Egypt in the race to Gabon 2017 and need to grab wins against the Pharaohs when both sides clash twice within a week in March 2016 in order to overtake the North Africans and boost their chances of grabbing the qualifying group’s sole automatic ticket to the tournament. And it is with the team’s poor away form in mind, coupled with the side’s poor goal scoring form both at home and on the road that has Esin worried.

“We need that goal scoring instinct in the Super Eagles because if we don’t score goals we can’t win away games,” said the former Nigeria number 10 in an interview with the New Telegraph.

“Oliseh needs to work on his striking tactics because it took the individual brilliance of Moses Simon and Efe Ambrose for the Eagles to beat lowly rated Swaziland,” said Esin in reference to the Super Eagles’ 2-0 win over Swaziland in a World Cup qualifier played in Port Harcourt. “We need to sharpen our attack because the group stage of qualification for the 2018 World Cup will be tougher.

It was not a very brilliant match (the game against Swaziland) which everybody knows. If we are finding it very difficult to score against Swaziland what should we expect against tougher countries,” added the former Lokeren of Belgium star.