Nigeria aim for third Nations Cup trophy

2010-01-07 09:39

Even though Nigeria have won the African Nations Cup twice, they

are regarded as underachievers considering the huge pool of talent at their


Angola 2010 will be their 14th appearance at this tournament, where

they have also been beaten finalists four times and finished third on five other


There are those who want the team to use the Nations Cup to prepare

for the World Cup, while some differ, arguing this is the best opportunity for

the Eagles to win the competition and make up for their several near


Over the years, the Super Eagles have been known for their

attacking football. The current team are blessed with several top-rate strikers

like Everton striker Yakubu Aiyegbeni, Obafemi Martins from Wolfsburg, Osaze

Odemwingie of Locomotiv Moscow and Victor Obinna, who features for Malaga on

loan from Inter Milan.

However, Nigeria may well struggle to parade their best team in

Angola no thanks to a growing list of injuries - top scorer in the qualifiers

with four goals Ikechukwu Uche is ruled out as he is suffering from a long-term

knee injury, while there are doubts over the fitness of Martins and Everton

defender Joseph Yobo.

The heart of the defence has proved to be the Achilles heel of this


The handlers are yet to find a suitable combination in the middle

of the back four. Yobo has played alongside Danny Shittu, Dele Adeleye and

Obinna Nwaneri, but there is still no ideal pairing in sight yet.

All the same, they are expected to go past a first round group that

includes defending champions Egypt, Mozambique and west African neighbours


“This is not an easy group as some would want us to believe. I

believe that Nigeria and Egypt, who are the defending champions and who have

something to prove after they failed to qualify for the World Cup, will advance

from this group,” said head of the technical committee of the Nigeria Football

Federation, Taiwo Ogunjobi.

“It was not easy for us against Mozambique in the World Cup

qualifiers, both in Maputo and Abuja. They have proved they are a good side,

same as Benin. And as a result we have to be at our best because no team can be

taken for granted any longer.”

The Eagles, who open their campaign against Egypt on January 12 in

Benguela, may not be among the top contenders for the championship, but often

that is what brings out the best from them.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.