SUPER Eagles head coach Augustine Eguavoen has conceded that his team is not ruthless enough in from of goal and this could present a problem as the team advances into the knockout stage of the tournament following a 2-0 win over Guinea-Bissau yesterday.
In their third group game in the northern Cameroonian city of Garoua, the Super Eagles scored two second half goals yesterday to maintain their 100% record in the tournament. Goals from Sadiq Umar and William Ekong clinched all three points but Mr Eguavoen admitted that his boys should have scored more and were very wasteful in front of goal.
Mr Eguavoen conceded that this is an area they must strengthen to brighten their chances of winning the Africa Cup of Nations. Yesterday, the interim coach left the attacking trio of Taiwo Awoniyi, Samuel Chukwueze and Joe Aribo out of the team and only introduced dashing winger and man of the tournament so far, Moses Simon, late on in the second half.
New faces Sadiq Umar, Chidera Ejuke and Alex Iwobi were not clinical enough in front of goal, although the 4-2-4 formation adopted by Mr Eguavoen meant that the latter two were played in wide positions. Umar in particular was guilty of squandering many chances before finally finding the back of the net.
Mr Eguavoen said: “We always create chances but the problem is finishing them off. That is what we have to keep working on as we go further.”
With yesterday’s win over Guinea-Bissau, the Super Eagles became the only team in Cameroon to have won all her three group stage matches. Nigeria will next face the third-placed team in Group E or F in a round-of-16 clash taking place on Sunday, January 23.
Among the strikers who could have made a difference in the tournament are Napoli’s Victor Osimhen and Watford’s Emmanuel Dennis. Both are missing from the tournament as their clubs refused to release them but the duo have already sent congratulatory messages to their team mates.
Osimhen took to his Twitter to applaud the team, singling out Moses Simon, Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho for special praises. Dennis also hailed the Eagles, congratulating the team for making it through to the knock-out stages of the competition.