By Amos Joseph
On the first day in the month of June, 2015, Nigerians woke up to the news that the Flying Eagles were beaten. Trust me, many Nigerian folks would not like to start on that note, for certain beliefs, but the headline is for real.
|Google Image: Brazil 4-2 Nigeria|
Nigeria Flying Eagles were humbled by the Brazilian U-20 Boys in the on-going FIFA World Cup in New Zealand. In fact, our boys were beaten 4-2 in their opening game in the early hours of Monday.
For football enthusiasts, the match indeed lived up to its billing as the world bundle of skills, goals, free-flowing football and highly entertaining.
Flying Eagles went into the game with loads of confidence having triumphed from the continental stage and smashing performances in their pre-tournament friendlies. But they need to show that to the world also, as they battle their ways through to the next stage of the competition.
History they say has bearing on the way we think and act in the future as the Brazilians triumphed in after 90 minutes. According to history, the Flying Eagles met Brazil in 1983 (lost 0-3), 1987 (lost 0-4) and in 2005 (drew 0-0).
Some say damn history but one cannot but reckon with history in the game of football as teams with tradition and style overtime do not deviate. Meanwhile, Manu Garba coach of the Nigerian lads decided to approach the match with attack, attack and attack which is not a bad idea but ''We forgot we played against Brazil, the midfield gave the ball out cheaply and there was nothing exciting in front of goal, Paul Bassey told footballlive.ng after the match on Monday morning.
The young Brazilians took the lead and our boys rallied back with a lead but failed to hold on before the end of the first 45 minutes. Call it one of those bad days and you'll be absolutely correct especially for Joshua Enaholo's the goalkeeper whose errors cost the team so much as he shipped in two goals before the close of business on that fateful day.
An overconfident me, never expected the result, although the boys tried their best and I have a firm believe in the team. I however expect to see the team bounce back, win their remaining two matches well and qualify for the next phase but it might not come as easy a a pie. In Gold Coast, golds don't lie enticingly for people to pick.
Come Thursday, a badly wounded Korean side who lost 5-1 to Hungary will confront the Flying Eagles with hopes of redeeming and finding their feet on the standings (log). It will be a good chance for the Manu Graba boys to recover their confidence as the tournament progresses.
As for the Football federation and Nigerians at large this is not the time to mount pressure on the team as we know what they are capable of. Let's rally round the team and support them to the finals.