Amapakabo Assures U-23 Eagles Team Is Work In Progress At WAFU Cup 2019

Amapakabo Assures U-23 Eagles Team Is  Work In Progress At WAFU Cup 2019

Super Eagles Eagles B team and Olympic Eagles head coach, Imama Amapakabo, says the squad he took to the 2019 WAFU Cup of Nations in Senegal comprises more of the U23s who are passing through a formative stage towards a bigger objective of becoming Nigeria’s dream team, Completesports.com reports.

The home-based Super Eagles lost their first match of the 2019 WAFU Cup 2-1 to the Sparrow Hawks of Togo at the Stade Lat Dior Thies on Sunday night. Amapakabo’s team had also lost to the Togolese side 4-1 in a 2020 African Nations Championship qualifying first leg game in Lome a week earlier.

In Thies Senegal on Sunday, Togo went ahead in the 16th minute through Moise Kossivi Adjah’s goal. Sikiru Alimi equalized for Super Eagles B in the 33rd minute. Then Kangnivi Ama Tchoutchoui restored the Sparrow Hawks’ lead in the 43rd minute.

Despite the Nigerians’ dominant performance in the second half, the Togolese battled through it to keep their lead intact till full time

While appraising his team’s performance, Amapakabo, accepted full responsibility for the defeat but explained that the bigger objective of honing a strong U-23 Eagles team for Nigeria was well on course in the competition.


“We lost the game against Togo but the team showed the capacity to win. As you may not know, this is largely our U23 team needing exposure,” Amapakabo told TheNff.com.

“When players at that level play a competition like this they are bound to make mistakes. The first half was not up to the level we desired because there were some errors but we returned in the second half a lot much better creating many scoring chances.”

He added: “As a coach I like to take responsibilities. It is my job to make the team create quality scoring chances which they did. It’s a pity the goals didn’t come off such opportunities and we lost. Teams come to competitions to win. We also like to win every match we play but we are also mindful of the greater objective of this team. Our greater job is to build a virile young team with a competition like this. We want a team of high quality that can serve us for the U23 competitions and also develop well enough to transit to the senior national team.”

Amapakabo’s team defeat to Togo in the 2019 WAFU Cup first elimination round meant they will face either Cote d’Ivoire or Cape Verde in Saturday’s losers competition.

Eight winners from the elimination round will play in the second phase before the competition enters the semifinals, then the final on October 13.

Copyright © 2024 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.


  • okponku 5 years ago

    Mr Coach how long did u need to brush up these lads? I watched your last game in Senegal and wasn’t impressed of the attacking force. Missing very great scoring chances and mostly from the team captain and many mistakes from that gdefender with raster. Infact i couldn’t believe that those lads are Nigerians the way they play: Normally Nigeria team do have this fighting spirit and confidence in them, just like the SE Team that resently played Ukraine likewise the Golden Eaglets of 1985, 1993, 2013 and 17 respectively. I hope to see your Team take their game to this those teams level. Anything less than that just resign on your on own.

  • Glory 5 years ago

    I saw clips of this game and have saddly come up with these two conclusions; 1) Amakakpabor n coaching crew may have been influenced by personal gain in picking those set of players,that ordinarily should not even be making secondary school principal cup team list as we used to have those days or 2)If those are actually the best in the league, then our league is totally dead. We should shot it down for minimum of 2 years and until we can come up with proper re-organisation, we should not bother to restart. Unbelievable seeing the quality of players representing a country of about 360 million people of passionate football culture. Also whoever is going to manage our u-23 should start negotiating release of foreign based players to invite. Otherwise relying on these set of players is like planning to fail.

    • Nice piece of info glory

    • Dr. Drey 5 years ago

      Hmmm so…Theophilus Afhelokai, Mfon Udoh & Ibrahim Sunusi (joint top scorers last season), Ndifreke Effiong, Sikiru Alimi et al “ordinarily shouldn’t not even be making secondary school principal cup team list”….?

      Naija I dey hail Una o….!

      • Glory 5 years ago

        They will surely make today’s secondary school principal cup if ever there is still anything like that. But with the quality I saw on display against Sudan, that quality is far below principal cup of old.If you remember most Green eagles players were picked from their secondary schools back in d days.

        • Glory 5 years ago

          Sorry I meant Togo n not Sudan.Caught that wicked CSN flu.

        • Dr. Drey 5 years ago

          Did you read Emeka Amadi’s interview in a previous news thread…?

          Even if you are a Lionel Messi and you havent been competitive since May…almost 5 months, you will be taken to the cleaners by a fitter team, talk more of a team that has been in camp and has been competitive since June.

          Its even worse that our own team was assembled just 3 weeks ago. I saw the highlights of both matches against Togo and our performance in both matches had lack of fitness written all over it. Look at the lzay goals our defenders conceded and look at how heavy out strikers’s legs were in putting away begging chances.

          Even in normal sports, even if u are a USain Bolt, another person who has warmed up will speed past you on the track if you don not warm up properly for the same race.

          • Glory 5 years ago

            @Drey sure fitness is key to good performance in any sport. But truth be told, it wasn’t for lack of fitness but lack of quality. An unfit quality player is still able to show anyone watching how good he is every few minutes the ball comes to him. Sure we may not win for fitness reason but good quality players albeit unfit would surely be noticed.

  • JimmyBall 5 years ago

    …Imams is not honest like most local coaches… those guys are clearly not the best in the league… Most of our so called local coaches are also into player management and agency… What happened to the core of the team that played the last Wafu… I am sure 50% of that team still play in the home league and not yet abroad not to have been considered… People like coach Imams have players they are trying to promote and prop-up to secure over seas clubs and transfers so that they can also get their cut… those why you will see players without talent playing in these kinds of games… there are very good players in the league… how good can Togo league be compared to Nigeria league… It’s a case where these local coaches normally take their own shitth players for obvious favours and gains…

  • Truth @Glory is that it’s just a reflection of the insanely corrupted Nigerian system. As long as a process is not in the public domain and attracts just little or no public)fans’ interest (like we do with the Super Eagles), the person or people in charge (of any agency, team, department, ministry or national property) would always try to exploit the process/system for monetary gain – even if it means sacrificing merit on the alter.

    Even those compelled to do the right thing (Not naturally but cos the team or agency they’re managing is under public spotlight) still eventually go on to manipulate the process/system for personal gains or selfish interest – just as soon as they get public approval or praise for their previous or first ‘good show.’ We saw it with Keshi after 2013 Afcon win. We are seeing it ‘mr.integrity’ after post-2015 praises/approval. We saw it with Salisu Ibrahim. Where’s Okpotu? But Junior Lokosa couldn’t make his team. Why? Nobody paid interest to how the team was being selected. But we all do for the main SE so it’s hard to corrupt the process.

    In athletics, AFN are currently on a jamboree in Doha, making a mess of the nation’s flag with indisciplined athletes pulling out at will after being picked ahead of more willing ones. If it had been our darling SE, we would have all screamed ‘crucify.’ But who cares? After all, no one cared about how the contingent was selected or the manipulation galore that would have gone into it.

    So, Imama? Hey, who cares!? It’s a Nigerian thing, and you’re a Nigerian after all. Do your thing, man! Just don’t soil our darling SE FIFA ranking. FIFA should please stop taking cognizance of other ‘SE’ tram. There’s only one SE, and it’s managed by Rohr.

    As long as it has a heavy element of ‘foreign’ in it, then Nigerian things tend to do well. Foreign coach, foreign-based players, foreign ref, foreign league, foreign match venues etc. Just add ‘foreign’ somewhere and you’re good to go! It’ll be enjoyable and the process will be transparent. It’s all good! E-A-S-Y!

    Who knows what would happen if we also have elements of ‘foreign’ (even slightly) in the presidency and civil service, things might start looking like our darling SE too. Eh!? You know, the mentality often changes.

    • Glory 5 years ago

      Man you have spoken some hard truth, especially those lines where you mentioned foreign. Just so sad what Nigeria is becoming every day.

  • Greenturf 5 years ago

    Imama in my opinion should be exonerated from blame in his teams poor performances,owing to shabby preparations and redundant league which has made players inactive for over eleven weeks.
    People saying he took bribe should take their time and peruse the teams roster and tell me which player isn’t there on merit.It’s unfair to make all this comments against someone who was put under complex and unfavourable working conditions.I wonder which coach in the world would achieve better things under this bad conditions Imama found himself.
    Apparently,he’s working hard to improve the fitness level of the team and put them in good stead to compete.
    Hopefully,somehow with hardwork he could turn things around against buggy opponent Togo on the 19th to qualify for the Chan tournament in Cameroon.

    • Glory 5 years ago

      If I must not doubt that those set of home based are the best in the local league,then I weep for Nigeria football. Honestly speaking n not a pinch of joke, even at my 40s, I m better than 90% of those players. This aweful performances is affecting our FiFA rating Which automatically is negatively affecting other aspects of our football.

  • Chairmanfemi 5 years ago

    This dude called IMAMA should be fired! He has nothing up stairs tactically to lead any Nigerian Football Side! I don’t know what the NFF are still waiting for. Maybe they want to see us loose even more with him. We have better Coaches scattered all over not this learner that has been hiding under Rohr’s success all this while.

    • Bishop 5 years ago

      You must have justification to call for him to be fired. Those who speak English say ‘ceteris parabus…all things being equal’, you can justly blame Imama ceteris parabus.. given rusty team with not enough tune-up matches, what miracles were you expecting? There goes the Nigerian arrogance again. ‘We should beat minnows whether we prepare well or not’.

Update cookies preferences