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‘Inadequate preparation, lack of motivation’ affecting Sand Eagles

‘Inadequate preparation, lack of motivation’ affecting Sand Eagles
December 17
08:58 2016

Abu Azeez, Enyimba FC striker, says lack of motivation is affecting the Nigeria beach soccer team in the ongoing African championship holding in Lagos.

Abu, one of the leading goal scorers in African beach soccer, disclosed to TheCable that inadequate preparation is another factor that has made it difficult for the team to play as a unit.

He, however, stressed that they are hopeful of winning the tournament and qualifying for the beach soccer world cup.

“We fought hard to win against Egypt in our first game.‎ The group stage was not easy for us. The Egyptians were well prepared before coming for this tournament, they were in camp for a very long time, played series of friendly games unlike us that just started camp just 2 weeks to the tournament‎.

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“Ivory Coast is one of our biggest ‎and toughest opponent to beat in Beach soccer. We defeated them twice last year.

“We tried doing that again against them but lack of communication and understanding‎ between our defenders and goalkeeper led to the equalizer, and the game went into penalty which they won.

“But we really thank God for the loss because it made us realise that we needed to work harder and as a team. This is what helped us against Ghana that gave us the victory and semi-final ticket.

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“It’s not going to be easy to play against Morocco tomorrow in the semi-final‎ but we are hoping that God will crown our hard work and effort with victory at the end of the day.

“We really want to win despite the condition under which we’ve been playing‎. The team is playing with a big heart, for the passion they have for the game and for the love of country too.

“Most importantly, we just want to ensure that we qualify for the World Cup which is next year.

“We don’t want to dwell on how we are been treated but we just have to win against Morocco otherwise it’ll be the third time Nigeria will not be at the World Cup,” Azeez told TheCable.

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The Nigerian Sand Eagles will take on their Moroccan counterpart in the semi-final game on Saturday.

A win automatically qualifies Nigeria for the 9th edition of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.

The tournament will take place in Nassau, Bahamas from April 27 to May 7, 2017.

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