9ja FlavourAfrican Football

Udeze to Olympic Eagles: Speak and play like a team

Former Super Eagles left-back Ifeanyi Udeze has charged the Olympic Eagles players to shun individual talks and speak and play like a team when they face Guinea tomorrow.

Nigeria`s U-23 Mens team the Olympic Eagles were last week held to a 0-0 draw by Guinea in a game visiting Coach Morlayie Cisse claimed Nigeria got away in the first leg of the U-23 AFCON qualifier in Abuja.

Udeze while previewing the second leg on a Brila FM show lamented the individual talks by the Coach Salisu Yusuf tutored lads ahead of the gameĀ on Tuesday March 28, 2023

“I have heard some of the U-23 players individually saying: ‘I will do my best in the return leg’,” Udeze said

“That shouldn’t be the soundbite coming from the players. Football is a team sport. Rather, it should be about the team.

“They ought to be saying that having let the country down in the first leg at home, we shall do our best and ensure that we qualify for the competition in Morocco.

“We have made history at the Olympics. We won it as a country. With due respect to the Guineans, we shouldn’t be struggling to win such games.

“Before their match in Abuja, some of them were saying that they hoped that the Super Eagles would also win like them. Win yours first. Well, things didn’t turn out as they thought. But I just wish them the very best,” Udeze concluded.

The U-23 team that faced Guinea in the first leg had less than a week to train together after Coach Salisu Yusuf decided to hand invitation to foreign based players to join their home-based counterparts who had spent weeks in training for the match.

The Total Energies U-23 Africa Cup of Nations tournament will take place in Morocco. The aggregate winner of the Guinea Vs Nigeria clash will join seven other teams in Morocco for the Nations Cup.

The U-23 AFCON serves as qualification path for the Olympic games. The top three teams at the tournament will qualify for the football tournament of the 2024 Olympics in Paris, France.

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