Former Nigeria defender, Ben Iroha says fate would have been cruel to Super Eagles if the three-time African champions had failed to edge Guinea in Wednesday’s Africa Cup of Nations Group B tie decided in Alexandria, Completesports.com reports.
Iroha spoke from his Texas, USA, base when Completesports.com called him up late Wednesday night after the Super Eagles’ pyrrhic 1-0 win against Syli Nationals of Guinea.
The nervy win ensured Super Eagles became the first team to seal their place in the Round of 16 of the tournament.
“I know there is luck in football. Every team asks for it even when it is obvious you ain’t playing well,” Iroha told Completesports.com.
“But on this occasion, Super Eagles were clearly the better side. They controlled the game right from the start and it was only a matter of when the goal would come.
“Though we watched with our hearts in our mouths, fate would have been most unkind to Super Eagles if they had not won that game.”
There has been concerns of late over the Super Eagles low scoring form. In five matches against Egypt (in a friendly in Asaba), Zimbabwe (also a friendly in Asaba), Senegal (a friendly in Ismailia), Burundi ( AFCON) and Guinea (also AFCON), Super Eagles have managed three goals, though conceded only once (against Guinea).
But the USA ’94 World Cup star reckons there is nothing to worry about because, according to him, at this stage of the tournament, every team applies caution.
Iroha added: “The important thing is that the team is playing well. They play as a unit, they control games and in that situation there is hope goals will come.
“It happened against Burundi and then against Guinea. At this (group) stage, what is important is victory, scoreline does not count.
“In the coming matches- in the knock out stage, it will be a different ball game.”
By Sab Osuji