Nigeria’s U23 football team Head Coach, Imama Amakpakabo has hailed the fantastic home form of his lads, after they impressively rout Sudan 5-0 in the return leg of the U23 AFCON played at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba, Delta State.
The Dream Team VII trailed the Sudanese 1-0 after the first leg in Omdurman five days ago, and needed a win with two unreplied goals to go through to the main draw of the tournament, but finished with five of the highest quality.
In the previous round the Olympic Eagles faced a similar task of overturning a 2 goal deficit against Libya, and accomplished the mission with four unreplied goals, and Coach Imama beleives that his team plays better when at home.
“We needed to win like I told the players, football is all about moments and if you loss concentration like we did in Sudan you will get punished. We challenged ourselves like we had”.
“All the time we come back home we are better team because I have the opportunity to actually work with the full bunch that I want, going away most times I don’t have the full complement of my team to work with, and I get to meet my team maybe on the day of the game and then we just have to play; so it’s a different ball game when we come back home, we have some training sessions so it’s a plus for us”.
Nigeria joins host Egypt, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Mali, Ghana and Zambia in the main draw of the U23 AFCON which kicks off in November, and Coach Imama is confident of picking an olympic ticket in Egypt.
“There’s Egypt in front of us, there’s a big qualification in front of us, so we await the qualification there. Let’s get to Egypt and see how God is going to bless us”.
“Like I say all the time if you want to be the best you should be ready to meet the best, whichever draw we get, God-willing we are going to see when we get to Egypt, we have to qualify for the olympics”.
Nigeria are the defending champions of the U23 AFCON, and may likely miss key members of the team like; Stephen Odey, Taiwo Awoniyi, and Blessing Muyiwa when the tournament starts in November because of the regular season in Europe.