…Farense coach tips Nigeria for trophy
THE Super Eagles ended their training camp in Faro, Portugal in style Tuesday when they trounced Portuguese second division side, Farense, 5-0, in a game described by Head Coach Stephen Keshi as dress rehearsal for the team’s opening game against Burkina Faso on January 21.
The match, which was again played at the Browns Sports and Leisure Club in Faro, where the Nigerian side stayed throughout its sojourn in Portugal, was barely five minutes old when right back, Efe Ambrose surging run into the danger area of the Portuguese was met with a vicious hacking. Centre referee Luis Costa wasted no time in pointing to the spot.
Chelsea star, John Mikel Obi, stepped in to coolly slot home the opener. But Farense made things difficult for the Eagles as Senegalese born striker, Sone Diop, Falardo and danger man Fabio Texeira attacked sporadically in search of an equaliser that never came till the end of the first half.
The Eagles on the other hand had plenty of chances to have buried the game in the first but Nosa Igiebor hit the cross bar thrice, Mikel followed suit with a fiery shot that also hit the bar and Emmanuel Emenike also missed a sitter.
In the second half Head Coach Stephen Keshi made sweeping changes. Kenneth Omeruo was in for Joseph Yobo, Juwon Oshaniwa for Elderson Echejile, Ogenyi Onazi for Mikel Obi, Sunday Mba for Igiebor, Obiorah Nwankwo for Fegor Ogude, Ikechukwu Uche for Brown Ideye, Gabriel Reuben for Efe Ambrose mid-way into the half, same as Vincent Enyeama was replaced by Chigozie Agbim.
There was no immediate impact with the changes until in the 75th minute when an Emenike’s furious onslaught down the left wing of the pitch was clinically finished off by Ikechukwu Uche for one of his three goals of the evening. Goalkeeper Agbim must be credited for his quick counter-attack throw to Emenike.
Uche was to score another in the 80th minute after nice footwork by Ejike Uzoenyi left him face to face with goalie Sergio Serrar. He blasted into the roof of the net. He completed his hat trick of the evening after a fine interchange of passes with Onazi and Ejike.
Just as the referee was about blasting home the final whistle Ejike was to set up Emenike for the final goal on the dot of 90 minutes for a comprehensive whitewash of the Farense side. The referee did not even allow for a restart after the fifth goal.