Win or bust for Nigeria and coach Amodu
Nigeria face Benin on Saturday with the World Cup-bound Super Eagles under huge pressure to stay in the Orange African Cup of Nations after a 3-1 loss to defending champions Egypt in their opener.
Nigeria coach, Shuaibu Amodu, has also been issued an ultimatum
to beat next-door neighbours Benin or else make way for his
assistant, Daniel Amokachi, to take the team through the rest of
the championship. Kick-off is at 18:00. Live on SS4 and SS3A (Africa)
Despite qualifying Nigeria for the World Cup in South Africa
later this year, Amodu has come under fire over his tactics and
The loss to Egypt on Tuesday paved the way for his critics to
again call for his head.
Amodu also qualified Nigeria for the 2002 World Cup, but after
he failed to guide the team to the final of the Africa Cup of
Nations same year in Mali, he was given the boot and in his place
Adeboye Onigbinde took charge of the Eagles at the World Cup.
Top officials have admitted that they have already held talks
with the Dutch coach of Mozambique, Mart Nooij, over the Eagles job
even though the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) have continued to
declare their confidence in Amodu.
A first round exit from Angola 2010 would also hit the players
in the pocket after they agreed a win-bonus deal of 30,000
dollars-a-man if they progress to the kockout stage of the
They will be left empty-handed if they crash out in the first
Wolfsburg striker Obafemi Martins has been permitted to fly out
to Europe to appear before an English court over a compensation
claim brought against him by his former agent after officials
initially announced he was away to look over a troublesome shin
Officials are confident, however, he will return in time for
Fulham midfielder Dickson Etuhu has shrugged off a knock on his
left knee he received against Egypt and which forced him to skip
training on Wednesday, while Lokomotiv Moscow striker Osaze
Odemwingie would likely start after he recovered from a throat
Nigeria will be favourites to win this clash, but skipper Joseph
Yobo they have to be at their best against a Benin side that was
full running and commitment against Mozambique in their opening
"We are all disappointed about what has happened (3-1 loss to
Egypt) and we know it is time to step up our game to avoid an early
elimination from this championship," said Yobo.
"No one is happy about the result, and we are looking forward to
giving our all in the next games."
Benin are making their third Nations Cup appearance and on all
three occasions they have clashed with their fellow west Africans,
losing all three matches.
However, the Squirrels' Nigerian-born striker, Razak Omotoyossi,
has said he will not be doing the Eagles any favours on Saturday.
"My target is to score against Nigeria," said the Metz striker,
who was in action two years ago in Ghana when Benin fell 2-0 to
Omotoyossi was at the heart of Benin's effort to record their
first-ever Nations Cup victory against Mozambique on Tuesday, he
netted the penalty after he was upended by the goalkeeper and then
initiated the move that resulted in an own goal by Mozambique
defender Dario Khan.
However, the game ended in a 2-2 draw.
The stocky striker will again be complimented by Stephane
Sessegnon from Paris Saint-Germain, who against Mozambique showed
flashes of the brilliance that has sparked off a scramble for his
signature by several top English clubs.