AFCON qualification: No cause for alarm – Amodu

Shaibu AmoduNewly appointed Super Eagles Head Coach, Shaibu Amodu, said on Sunday that there was no cause for alarm in Nigeria’s chase for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) ticket.

A statement issued in Abuja by Ademola Olajire, Assistant Director of the Nigeria Football Association (NFA), quoted Amodu as assuring Nigerians that the Super Eagles will qualify for AFCON 2015.

“We have done it before; we will do it again.

“If Congo can come here and score three goals, nothing stops us going to Congo to score three or more goals,” the statement quoted Amodu as saying.

In April 2001, then NFA sacked Dutchman Johannes Bonfrere with Nigeria’s 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifying ship in troubled waters.

They brought in Amodu, with Stephen Keshi and Joe Erico as his assistants.

Nigeria needed to win all its last three matches of the campaign to be sure of a place in Korea/Japan.

Amodu led the team to turn back Liberia 2-0 in Port Harcourt, hammer Sudan 4-0 in Omdurman and dismissed Ghana 3-0 in Port Harcourt to qualify for the World Cup.

Amodu faced the same challenge in November 2009, when the Eagles needed to defeat Kenya in Nairobi and hoped Tunisia did not win in Mozambique to reach the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals in South Africa.

The Eagles won the match 3-2 and qualified for the Mundial.

As for the South African challenge, Amodu led the team to beat South Africa home and away in the preliminary race for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

As a result of CAF’s regulation for the AFCON 2015 qualifiers, the Super Eagles need to score three goals in Brazzaville on Nov.15 and not concede more than one to steady their campaign for Morocco.

This is because they lost 2-3 to the Congolese in Calabar on Sept. 6.

CAF will take into consideration the team that scored the most away goals in the fixture involving both teams, should both teams finish on equal number of points.

Once Nigeria hits three goals in Pointe Noire, and does not concede more than one, all they need do to qualify is defeat South Africa in Uyo on Nov. 19 to qualify for the tournament.

The 56-year-old Amodu, who is taking up the Super Eagles job for the fifth time, will have the assistance of Salisu Yusuf, who steered Kano Pillars to back-to-back wins in the Nigeria Premier League.

Gbenga Ogunbote, the brain behind Sunshine Stars FC’s rise to national and international prominence and Aloysius Agu, one of the best goalkeepers in Nigeria history are Amodu’s other assistants.