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CHAN 2020: Home Based Eagles Failure, A Failure Of All

Home Based Eagles



For the first time since the first two editions of the Africa Nations Championships (CHAN) in 2009 and 2011, the Super Eagles have failed to
qualify for the competition created for players plying their trade in their country’s local Leagues.

The current side led by Imama Amapakabo was expected to do well looking at the pedigree of the coach who won the NPFL with Enugu Rangers in 2016. Imama took over from Salisu Yusuf who was embroiled in corruption charges after being caught on video taking bribe in order to include two players in his final list for the 2018 CHAN.

However, the team only managed a win over Togo on Saturday afternoon which was not enough to see the team through to the next round, and in four games by the home based Eagles, the team lost three, two against Togo in the CHAN first leg qualifier in Lome and the WAFU Cup in Senegal and Cape Verde in the same competition.

It was a total disappointment, far from what was gotten two years ago in Morocco where the team go to the finals even though it ended in a 4-0 thrashing in the hands of the hosts Morocco.

The first leg in Lome, Togo was with a totally unacceptable scoreline, 4-1 drubbing in the hands of the Togolese which the coach blamed on the players, indicating that they failed to interpret tactics reserving the biggest chunk for captain of the side Mfon Udoh who missed loads of scoring opportunities on the day.

Also, he claimed to know little to nothing about the Togolose before the tie, its a wonder why he then chose to play young players who weeks before the match failed to deal with their age groups, in the CAF U23 AFCON Qualifier first leg tie in Sudan, against seasoned internationals in The Hawks of Togo national team.

To salvage things the NFF claimed to have instructed Imama to field the best of youngest legs in the NPFL in the team, blaming the loss on inexperience and naivety of the young squad.

For the second leg, the coach invited 8 new players to the team including a recall for goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Enugu Rangers’Anthony Shimaga, Kano Pillars’ ace Nyima Nwagua and Enyimba defender Ifeanyi Anaemena.

Apparently, it looked as though Imama left out some experienced and top quality players from the NPFL out of the first leg as he had no player from Enugu Rangers and Kano Pillars, two of the league’s outstanding teams last season.

The change was evident even though not enough as the Eagles beat Togo at the Soccer Temple in Agege, Lagos 2-0 with Lobi Stars’ Sikiru Alimi scoring the brace.

However, the scoreline was not enough to see the team qualify for the competition. The players themselves were at fault having squandered several scoring chances in the second leg just like in the first.

Now the 2018 CHAN finalists will not be at the 2020 edition of the competition and this hopefully would help the team ahead of the next set of CHAN 2022 Qualifiers in 2021, so that the team and players would learn from this year’s failure, which in all honesty home based eagles failure is contributed by the NFF, Coach Imama Amapakabo and the players.



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Daniel is a passionate lover of Nigerian football. Follows local football and the national teams religiously. Aside from writing, he also does Sports analysis on Radio. Write to me on or follow me on twitter@danycrusoe95

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