Benedict Akwuegbu has commended Olympic Eagles following their 3-1 comeback victory over Zambia on the matchday-two, Group B, at the ongoing 2019 U-23 Africa Cup of Nations in Cairo, Egypt, Completesports.com reports.
Akwuegbu, a former Nigeria international, told Completesports.com from his base in London late Tuesday that the victory has revived Nigeria’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games dreams.
Zambia took an early lead in the game with Parson Daka scoring the in the 12th minute .
Orji Okonkwo drew Nigeria level on 17th minute with Kelechi Nwakali handing Nigeria the lead five minutes past the hour mark from a free-kick. Taiwo Awoniyi sealed the victory for the Olympic Eagles with a 90th minute strike.
Akwuegbu says the Eagles now have their 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games qualification fate in their hands.
“Winning your first game in a major championship like this is very important. But if you lose, it brings the confidence of the team low. It puts the team under pressure going into the next game,” Akwuegbu told Completesports.com from his UK base moments after the match on Tuesday night.
“That was the situation with these U23 Eagles after the defeat by Ivory Coast. And it takes the best of a team to overcome and still win the next game.
“That was what the Eagles did and I must commend them. They showed character, they displayed the Nigerian spirit and I’m proud of them.”
The Amapakabo’s charges will on Friday ruffle confront group leaders, South Africa, in the last match of the group at the Al Salam Stadium, Cairo.
Winners will ultimately top the group and book a place in the semi finals.
But Akwuegbu believes that the coast is now clear for the Olympic Eagles to earn a semifinal berth, stressing that the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games fate is now in their hands.
“Yes, victory over Zambia is the turning point. They have their fate in their hands now. The confidence is back up and I believe they cannot let it slip again,” he said.
South Africa, 1-0 winners over Cote d’Ivoire in the matchday-2 , top the pool with four points will will face the inspired Nigerians on Friday.
Cote d’Ivoire, on three points like Nigeria but with fewer goals, will clash with Zambia who have only one point also on Friday.Copyright © 2020 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.