Keshi and Nigerian President discuss results of CHAN | Tunde Folawiyo

Fans of the Super Eagles experienced mixed emotions after the team won the bronze medal at CHAN. Some were thrilled with the results, whilst others felt that the players could have done better. Goodluck Jonathan, the Nigerian President, seemed to be pleased with Tunde Folawiyothe Eagles’ performance at CHAN, rewarding the players with a prize of N31 million after the tournament. Speaking in Abuja, at a dinner which he hosted for the team, he said he had been particularly amazed at how well they had played in their match against Morocco, which resulted in a 4-3 victory.

Keshi, the Super Eagles’ manager, also said that he was delighted with how the Eagles had done. In a press conference, he expressed his gratitude to the Nigeria Football Federation, who had supported him and the team throughout the tournament, and praised the players, whom he said had followed his instructions well, and performed admirably on the pitch. He went on to say that the team were now beginning to better understand his strategies, adding that they had shown a great deal of ‘mental strength’ during their final match against Zimbabwe.

Super Eagles supporters, such as Tunde Folawiyo, might be surprised to learn that Keshi was not disappointed that they had not won the gold; the manager explained that his primary concern throughout the tournament was to determine which players were good enough for the World Cup squad. He then said that he would be taking the same approach to the upcoming friendly against Mexico – rather than worrying too much about the outcome of the match, he would be focusing on which individual players perform best.

With regards to which players he may choose, or exclude from the World Cup squad, the jury is still out. However, a number of sports commentators have suggested that Ugonna Uzochukwu has a good chance of being selected. Supporters like Tunde Folawiyo will probably know that, despite the fact that many people expressed misgivings about his presence on the team early on in the tournament, Uzochukwu performed outstandingly well, giving the Eagles their first goal in their match against Morocco.

Rabiu Ali is another player whom commentators believe might make it to Brazil this year; his consistently reliable performance in midfield, coupled with his ability to create goal scoring opportunities for others, have played a significant role in the Eagles’ success in CHAN.

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