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‘He misses chances but scores important goals’ — Eagles’ coach backs Okpotu

‘He misses chances but scores important goals’ — Eagles’ coach backs Okpotu
January 29
15:33 2018
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Salisu Yusuf has defended striker, Anthony Okpotu, over criticisms that he often fluffs goalscoring chances.

Okpotu missed a number of goalscoring opportunities in the CHAN 2018 semi-final game against Angola.

But Yusuf, coach of the home-based Eagles, says “a striker must miss some goals”.

The coach said: “He had so much misses but you see, a striker must miss some goals and if you keep changing you cannot have a stable one.

“In the last game, he came and scored the equaliser and that is where the confidence comes from.

“And we kept the confidence in him and he scored the equaliser again. Though he misses so many scoring chances, he scored the most important goal that took us to extra time and made us win.”

Yusuf expressed confidence in his team’s ability to win the continental championship. He said the team has been improving with each game.

Okechukwu Gabriel, who scored the winning goal in the 2-1 defeat of Angola, says the team’s determination and never-say-die attitude sealed the victory.

The Akwa United forward said defeating Angola is just a means to an end as the Eagles intend to win the championship.

“What was going through my mind was to make sure to get the win and get the goals coming in,” Gabriel said.

“And at one point, the goal wasn’t coming, we said to ourselves that we can do this. That we just have to fight, to keep fighting and at the end it turned out victorious for us.

“I feel excited. I am happy. I am glad that I was able to get the winning goal for Nigeria. We have to defend our country that’s the main reason we are.

“To fight and win to get to the final. Not to just get to the final but to win the trophy.”

The Eagles will face Sudan in the semi-final of the competition.

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