Former Super Eagles coach, Paul Hamilton has said that Nigeria stands a great chance of defeating Ivory Coast in Sunday’s Africa Cup of Nations quarter final match if only the players can step up their game and be aggressive in the grudge match.
Stephen Keshi and his Eagles will keep a date with Didier Drogba-inspired Elephants of Ivory Coast in a crucial match in Rustenburg, South Africa for the semi final ticket.
Hamilton, who also coached the Super Falcons, said that as a patriotic Nigerian he was glad that the Eagles made it to the knockout stage of the African championship, “but I have been praying for the players to step up their game if we must beat the Ivorians to secure the semi final ticket.
“Nigerians should not fear the Elephants simply because they parade stars in the ongoing Nations Cup. What I know is that football is full of uncertainty. Teams that play well and get a bit of luck always win matches.
“That is why I want to urge our players to be mobile and raise the tempo of their game because modern football demands mobility. We must also ensure that the rear of our team is guarded very well. If not for the two penalties, it would have been hard for us to scale the hurdle of the Ethiopians to get to where we are today. I believe on Sunday, we’ll see what football is all about,” he said.
Hamilton, who also handled the nation’s U-20 Flying Eagles, eulogised the gallant display of Chelsea of England star, Victor Moses, for taking the country to the quarter final of the tournament. He said that Moses’ ability to read match brought about the penalties that he scored to give the Eagles a passage to the knockout stage.
“I think Moses did a good job with those penalties because he made them happened. I want other players in the Eagles to emulate this young boy in our future matches”, he demanded.