Afcon 2021: No target for Nigeria coach Eguavoen – NFF

14:35 WAT 16/01/2022
Augustine Eguavoen
The interim handler of the three-time champs has only been directed to do his best at the ongoing competition

The Nigeria Football Federation reveals no target has been set for Nigeria’s interim coach Augustine Eguavoen at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

Eguavoen – who represented the Super Eagles for 11 years – was named as interim manager of the West Africans in December following the sacking of Gernot Rohr after five years.

He will be replaced by Portuguese tactician Jose Peseiro after the 33rd edition of the biennial African football showpiece in Cameroon.

Following victories over Egypt and Sudan, the country has booked a place in the Round of 16 with a match to spare.

In the wake of the 56-year-old’s fine start at Afcon 2021, GOAL asked the NFF Director of Communications Ademola Olajire if the country’s football ruling body has set a target for Eguavoen, he said: “He is on an interim basis, he has just been handed the mandate to do his very best, and we know what his very best is.

“Sixteen years ago, he led the team to a bronze medal in Egypt and of course, he is the coach with the highest percentage of wins in matches for Nigeria – 12 wins in 14 games over three stints is not something to sneeze at.

“So, we [NFF] believe that we will go all the way to lead the team to the final.”

Despite doubts about Nigeria’s ability to defeat Egypt in their opening match, the team subdued the North Africans 1-0 with Kelechi Iheanacho’s 30th-minute strike settling the encounter staged in Garoua.

On Saturday, the 2013 African kings subdued the Falcons of Jediane 3-1 to book a place in the knockout phase.

Olajire expressed the NFF’s delight with this development while hoping Eguavoen and his men don’t rest on their oars.

“The NFF is quite happy and delighted with this because you know all the circumstances in which we got here, such as the new technical crew having only a few days to train with the team,” he continued.

“There was so much pessimism here and there, but we are happy with that first we took the three points from Egypt in the first match was a good starting point before the three points against Sudan - also very good.

“We are looking forward to another three points in the game against Guinea Bissau. It is a very excellent start and we just hope that the team keeps up to that momentum and goes all the way to the final.”

Since their first participation in Ghana 1963, Nigeria have made 19 appearances in the tournament – winning it on three occasions (1980, 1994 and 2013).