Ex-international Garba Lawal has submitted that it is possible for Nigeria to move beyond the African Cup of Nations quarter finals with a win over one of the tournament’s favourites, Ivory Coast.
He however, added that for the Eagles to overcome the “Elephants”, Stephen Keshi’s wards must give their best by way of total commitment, full concentration, commit less offences, endeavour to make accurate passes and play as one whole unit with strikers shooting to target.
“To beat a big side that we have in our hands it’s not about outplaying them but making the decision to play with a big heart. For the team to have come this far, I like to salute them but they must realise that we are up against a great side – Ivory Coast.
And for you to face such a side, you just must bring out the best in you. It is possible to overcome Ivory Coast only if they decide to put in their best effort,” he said, adding, “that means they must agree to play well and win, give the game full concentration, play as a unit, must commit less offence such that your opponents lack any loopholes to exploit, especially in front of goal. We all know our opponents parade very great strikers and players who can exploit situations and they have the ability to shoot from anywhere.”
Lawal recalled the Atlanta ’96 Olympic Games where he said the Eagles faced the likes of Brazil and Argentina, two of the world’s greatest football playing countries and still won.
“It was not about us out-playing those countries but about the fact that we made a commitment to raise the level of our game and in both semi final and final we beat them. In like manner, if the Eagles decide to raise their game than what we have seen thus far, Ivory Coast would fall.