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International
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Discussion Starter #1
Date: 31/01/2004
Time: 13:00 (GMT)
Venue: Monastir

Preview:

Nigeria will be looking to put recent troubles in the camp behind them with a win over Group D leaders South Africa.

The Super Eagles, who are down to a squad of 19 following the expulsion of three of their players because of indiscipline, are without a point following a surprise opening game defeat to Morocco.

Nigeria trio kicked out
The versatile Garba Lawal, who was surprisingly dropped for the Morocco clash, will fill in at left full-back in place of expelled Chelsea defender Celestine Babayaro.

In midfield the choice will be between Poland-based Ifeanyi Ekwueme and Osaze Odemwingie, who features for Belgian La Louviere.

Goalkeeper Austin Ejide, who was suffering from a hamstring complaint, is close to regaining his fitness.

South Africa are likely to name an unchanged team from the one that defeated Benin in their opening group encounter.

Midfielder Benson Mhlongo told BBC Sport that the squad was in confident mood following the victory.

"After our win against Benin, we said to ourselves, why not beat Nigeria and Morocco too and then go on to the final," the 23-year-old said.

"The confidence among the boys is high and we want to do well, not only for the country but also for ourselves."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/africa/3445263.stm

My Prediction: Nigeria 2 South Africa 2
 

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I can only say: Do or Die for Nigeria. :fero:

Only with the right attitude we may gain something from this game, but if any of the 11 players gives less than 100% we will be doomed. :(
 

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International
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Discussion Starter #3
Starting Lineups:

Nigeria: 1-Vincent Enyeama; 2-Joseph Yobo, 5-Isaac Okoronkwo, 15-George Abbey; 11-Garba Lawal, 10-Austin Okocha, 14-Seyi Olofinjana, 7-John Utaka, 4-Nwankwo Kanu; 21-Ifeanyi Ekwueme, 17-Julius Aghahowa

South Africa: 16-Emile Baron; 2-Thabang Molefe, 3-Jacob Lekgetho, 4-Aaron Mokoena, 7-Mbulelo Mabizela; 13-Benson Mhlongo, 19-John Moshoeu, 18-Delron Buckley, 15-Sibusiso Zuma; 14-Siyabonga Nomvete, 21-Patrick Mayo
 

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totally innocent
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Well the score flattered Nigeria a bit. the 2nd goal was a controversial penalty, and only 2 late goals 10 minutes from time made the win look emphatic. But it was a deserved win.
 

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Valdano,
I was thinking the same thing ;)
I believe we can win our WCQ group if we can pool our resources and realise that no player is greater than the team, basically get our house in order. It's possible, and I really hope we can do it.

K
 

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Nothing like a respite to recharge your batteries, eh Valdano? :D

I too would hope to see the "Brasilians of Africa" realise their full potential and qualify to the WC 2006.
(Though, to be honest, I have a £20 bet on Ghana to cruise through their qualification group :D )
 

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Great result! Complete 360 degree change from tuesday. We were strong at the back and pretty good offensively. You could see a clear change in mentality from the first whistle. Everyone battled for a win and the result is great.

The penalty was a penalty infact. Kanu did not touch the defender who tripped over his own legs and handled the ball.

Great substitute performance by Odenwingie :cool: Superb first goal and a cheeky second. :)

Now a win against Benin will see us through. :happy:

btw, if SA would have had their key players imagine how strong they would be :eek: I miss:

Mark Fish
Shaun Bartlett
Quinton Fortune
Benni McCarthy
Steven Pienaar

Now these 5 players would turn SA into the number one contender for winning the tournament IMO.
 

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Fabiocapello said:
pienaar was there

wasn't he?
No, he has a knee injury.
 

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Without Fortune and Pienaar, our midfield loses a lot of options. Up front, Benni would be wonderful (when motivated, and in form, I believe he is the equal of any African striker), Bartlett less so. His experience would be good for the squad, but I wouldn't make him a starter.

A big problem for us is the keeper. Arendse is totally hapless at international level, witness the WC2002 where he was responsible (I think) for ALL of the goals we conceded. Baron hasn't had so many chances at a high level, but in the absence of Vonk, perhaps he is our best bet.

Defence is another problem area (as are midfield and attack, but I won't whinge forever ;)), and we miss someone like Radebe, for his guts, determination and experience, far more than Fish, although he's also a decent defender.

Basically, even before the tournament started, I was expecting this kind of result. If we pass the group stage, I'll be amazed. Hopefully, the poor showing will kick the SAFA into taking things more seriously - appointing a coach who can work with players, and not against them - treating the players with more respect (not having to make their own travel arrangements etc) - scheduling their games in the FIFA windows - and making better preparation for key games.
 

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BerberPride said:
Nothing like a respite to recharge your batteries, eh
You bet bro. I'm only hoping that our administrators figure this out, and get our house in order :rollani: :rollani:

Poor administration has been the major bane of Ghana futebol. If they can strategize properly, and put this strategy into action Ghana can reclaim it's rightful place on the African circuit in a couple of years. I believe we've got the contenders to be strong.

Honestly, based on the way we're going I doubt we'll be in Germany in 2006. Currently we don't have a substantive coach. Oh wait a minute, Grandpa Ben Kuoffie (Ghana's futebol Capo) just hired a Portuguesse Physical instructor to lead us to the promise land...:howler:

Berber Pride, my brother lets fast and pray for your 20 pounds sterling.:D :)
 

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Valdano said:
You bet bro. I'm only hoping that our administrators figure this out, and get our house in order :rollani: :rollani:

Poor administration has been the major bane of Ghana futebol. If they can strategize properly, and put this strategy into action Ghana can reclaim it's rightful place on the African circuit in a couple of years. I believe we've got the contenders to be strong.

Honestly, based on the way we're going I doubt we'll be in Germany in 2006. Currently we don't have a substantive coach. Oh wait a minute, Grandpa Ben Kuoffie (Ghana's futebol Capo) just hired a Portuguesse Physical instructor to lead us to the promise land...:howler:

Berber Pride, my brother lets fast and pray for your 20 pounds sterling.:D :)
That sounds soooooooooo much like the problems we have too. Except Real Madrid now employ our Portuguese former coach (and they're welcome to have him).
 
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