AFCON 2019: Qualification Very Vital, Says Obuh


Former Flying Eagles’ coach, John Obuh, has expressed delight over the Super Eagles qualification to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations that Cameroon will be playing host to next year following 1-1 draw against South Africa in Johannesburg on Saturday.

According the former Sharks, Enugu Rangers sweat merchant, he is delighted that the Gernot Rohr coached Eagles were able to secure the much needed point in South Africa to see the team book a place for next year’s continental biggest football showpiece, the Africa Cup of Nations with a game to spare.

Obuh stated this while reacting to the Super Eagles’ AFCON game against Bafana Bafana of South Africa who had beaten Eagles in Uyo last year in the first leg of the qualifiers.

Most Nigerians had expected the Eagles to pay Bafana Bafana in their own coin having handed a 0-2 defeat to the three time African champions, but at the end of the encounter, the match ended in a score draw thereby handing Eagles the much needed point to book a place in next year’s continental football fiesta after being absent for the last two editions in 2015 and 2017.

“Well, I wouldn’t tell you that I am not satisfied with the Super Eagles play on Saturday against the Bafana Bafana of South Africa in the AFCON qualifier,” Obuh began.

“As far as I am concerned, the most important thing as far as that match was concerned was the point that the team got. That is the most important thing. So, for me that is the most important thing and every other thing is secondary.

“If you recalled that we have not participated in the biennial biggest football showpiece in the last two editions then you will appreciate our qualification even before the final game is played. I think it is a plus for the team.

“Of course, the team may have not played the best of football but like I said the most important thing is that we have secured qualification for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations even with a game to spare,” Obuh said.

“You will also realize that the team were depleted by injury and yet they were able to secure that vital point that has handed us qualification; I think there is need for us to appreciate that than to dwell on the issue of not playing to the satisfaction of fans and supporters.

“For some time now, our team have not been consistent in terms of players that represent us. There have been a lot of players that have been used in different games and yet they are getting the results.

“Imagine if players like Odion Jude Ighalo, Wilfred Ndidi, and John Obi Mikel amongst others were to play a part in the match.

“I believed that we now have options for the various departments of the game. So, the fact that one player is injured cannot stop us or give us too much headache when we have a game,” he said

Speaking further, the former Kwara United coach explained that the area of improvement for the national team depends on the team that the Super Eagles will be playing against, saying he has falling in love in Rohr’s 5-3-2 formation.

“I think that I am falling in love with Rohr’s 5-3-2 formation and I also love the partnership among Leon Balogun, Williams Troost-Ekong and Kenneth Omeruo. They seem to understand themselves very well,” Obuh said.

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