Sudan coach Mazda Abdallah says underrating his team in the first leg match of the 2015 African Cup of Nations qualifier last weekend spurred his boys to go all out for the maximum points. In this interview with RICHARD JIDEAKA, he warned the coach Stephen Keshi led team to forget the AFCON, saying he is in Abuja to disgrace the team before their fans.
Coach, how did you manage to beat Eagles in Khartoum?
it was a gamble that paid off. The Eagles were so confident that they would beat us to the extent that they wrote us off. Their comments on newspapers and radio actually angered my boys who went all out to ensure they win the match.
What was the gamble and how was it plotted?
The plot was to defend very well and stop the Eagles from scoring any goal and hoping to catch them on the counter. At worst, we had hoped to get a draw but when the chance came, we took it and decided to close shop.
Now that you have won the first leg match, are you going to adapt the same strategy in Abuja today?
We are in Abuja to do our best. We do not see the Eagles beating us on Wednesday. Our strategy will not be the same but we have our game plan to do well.
Are you saying that Sudan has not given up on qualifying for the African Cup of Nations?
We are confident that we will qualify for the competition in Morocco. We are working very hard and Insha Allah, we will be there next year.
How do you rate the Super Eagles as a team and their chances of qualifying for Morocco 2015?
Super Eagles can be good when they want to. But I think they are over pampered and feel they are the best in Africa. They have to beat us to be able to make it to Morocco. I don’t see them beating us so that means no AFCON for Nigeria.
Was it a deliberate by Sudan FA to take the first leg match to artificial field so that you can achieve your plan?
Yes, we know your boys will not like to play on astro turf so we applied everything possible to get a win and Allah gave us victory. Your boys were not really playing but were just strolling on the pitch.
Will you give up on your AFCON qualification ticket if the Eagles beat your team on Wednesday?
No, we shall fight to the last day. We won’t give up. But we are not here to lose so it should be whether Nigeria should give up. I am sorry but I hope that Nigerians would not be made to cry after the match.