The big boss was reinstated by higher authorities after he has been sacked by the Nigeria Football Federation new executives. Stephen Keshi’s return to the Eagles has however been celebrated with the 2-0 away win over Congo which puts Nigeria ahead of the Congolese on head-to-head. With both teams on 7 points, there is all to play for in the final round of matches on Wednesday in their respective fixtures. Congo gave themselves a chance after securing a draw in South Africa last month but the penalty miss against Nigeria proved to be vital as they ended up on the losing side. Now that Nigeria has the advantage, will it be taken?
Going back to AFCON 2012 qualifiers, Samson Siasia and his boys had it in their hands but failed to deliver on the last day thus not participating in the biggest international football competition in Africa. Stephen Keshi may have returned but the match against Congo isn’t convincing enough to say he is the perfect man to lead the Eagles forward. The style of football played by the Eagles has come under scrutiny in recent months with the team losing the steam they once had last year. Stephen Keshi may need to bring in something new in terms of ideas and creativity to change the way the team is presently playing. Enyeama’s brilliance and the inability of the Congolese to take their numerous chances gave the Super Eagles the day but it’s far from been over.
It is however expected that Stephen Keshi will qualify Nigeria for the African Cup of Nations in 2015 with the Super Eagles playing host to South Africa but the team may have to stay concentrated and off complacency if they are to get the desired result. Congo is favourite to win away in Sudan although the Sudanese will not make it easy. The Super Eagles will have take their destinies in their owner hands and not wait for any form of help from the other fixture and play for the maximum three points.
Ikechukwu Uche returned to the starting line up since 2013 away at Congo and the forward did well to convert from the spot when he was called upon to do so. The return of probably the best Nigerian forward in Europe will have done a lot in lifting the spirit in camp. The player is expected to give more on Wednesday against South Africa especially with Emmanuel Emenike struggling to remain consistent in front of goal for the Super Eagles.
There is no doubt Stephen Keshi and his boys have what it takes to make it to AFCON 2015, the future of football in Nigeria is more important and in my opinion, Keshi has done considerably well but will need to bring in fresh ideas as the same style of football isn’t favouring the Eagles.