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Soccer News of Tuesday, 25 January 2022

Source: www.mynigeria.com

Ex-international charge Super Eagles to focus on World Cup playoffs against Ghana

The Super Eagles of Nigeria The Super Eagles of Nigeria

Former Super Eagles player, Greg Etafia has encouraged the Super Eagles to get over the disappointing exit from the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations and focus on appearing at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Etafia, however, admits that defeat against Tunisia in the second round came as a shock to millions of Nigerians after the Super Eagles' brilliant performance in the group stage of the competition on Sunday, January 23.

Interim coach, Augustine Eguavoen was awarded the best coach in the group stages after victories against Egypt’s Pharaohs, Sudan’s Falcons, and Guinea-Bissau’s Wild Dog.

Despite being tipped as tournament favorites, a slender 1-0 loss to coronavirus hit Tunisia unceremoniously dump Nigeria out of the tournament. It also means Nigeria will have to wait another year to win its fourth AFCON title.

The biggest football competition of the year, however, comes up in Qatar later in the year, with the Super Eagles aiming to be one of Africa’s five representatives.

Having successfully navigated the second World Cup qualifying round, Nigeria have been drawn against eternal foes Ghana in the final playoff round. The aggregate winner of the two-legged encounter slated for March will join four other African nations on the plane to Qatar.

Etafia does not want the setback of the last few days to cloud the preparations for the crucial meetings against the Black Stars.

“There was a massive hope for the team,” the 39-year-old told Sowetan Live.

“We beat Egypt and the expectations were high. Everyone back home was hoping they would win the tournament.

“Still, there were a lot of positives we can take out and go to the World Cup play-off well prepared.”