Dalung hails Eagles, Rohr showers praises on Ezenwa
January 30th, 2018
Following Home-based Eagles 2-1 come-back victory against Angola on Sunday night to berth in the semi final of the ongoing 5th African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Morocco, Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, has congratulated the team for the feat so far.
The minister praised the team for putting up a good fight against the Angolans urging them to reinforce their dominance in African football and get to the final.
“Congratulations on your successful outing so far in the African Nations Championship. You still have two more hurdles to cross before bringing the trophy to Nigeria. I urge you to maintain your commitment, hard work and discipline which brought this emphatic win and go all the way to win the trophy,”Dalung urged the players in the goodwill message.
The minister who arrived New York yesterday morning for the 7th Economic and Social Council Youth Forum holding at the United Nations Headquarters, also commended the officials and players of the team for their superb team spirit, outstanding display and unity of purpose.
“I urge you to continue in like manner and approach your subsequent matches with same commitment and dedication until victory is achieved,” he pleaded.
Dalung also assured the team of the fervent love, support and prayers of President Muhammadu Buhari, the government and that of sports loving Nigerians at home and abroad.
Meanwhile, the performance of the goalkeeper and captain of Home-based Eagles, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, in Sunday’s quarter final 2-1 win over Angola didn’t come as a surprise to coach of the senior national team Gernot Rohr.
Ezenwa was brilliant between the sticks for Nigeria, and played a big role in helping Nigeria stay in the game after Angola took the lead 10 minutes into the start of the second half.
During the course of the game, Ezenwa made four big saves from one-on-one situations, and was also decisive in dealing with crosses into his box as well as organising his defence to deal with the threat of the Angolans.
His performance won him accolades especially among some Nigerians who were skeptical over the fact that he could be in goal for Nigeria at the World Cup, as he is presently the preferred choice of coach Gernot Rohr.
Rohr was however not surprised by his performance, with the Franco-German coach revealing after the game that he is aware of his qualities especially in dealing with one-on-one situations.
“It’s not a new thing to me because you know, I know Ezenwa very well , and that is why I put him in goal against Cameroon and in Algeria (World Cup 2018 Qualifiers) because he is a good goalkeeper,“ Rohr told journalists in Morocco.
“In one-on-one situation, he is one of the best and in the reflex he is also a very good option, and he showed it again today (Sunday). He saved three to four one-on-one situations. A team needs a good goalkeeper, you know I have him and a local player can play in Super Eagles main team, that’s what he has proven,” stressed the Super Eagles gaffer.