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Do You Agree? Maigari dedicates Super Eagles’ victory in Ethiopia to President Jonathan

October 14, 2013

Aminu Maigari, Chairman of the Nigeria Football Association (NFA), on Sunday in Addis Ababa said motivation by President Goodluck Jonathan helped the Super Eagles to their 2-1 win against Ethiopia.

The NFA chairman, while dedicating Nigeria’s victory in the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier to Jonathan, said the President’s visit a day earlier had spurred the players on.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Eagles defeated the Walya Antelopes at the Addis Ababa National Stadium in the first leg match of the Brazil 2014 play-off.

The Antelopes had opened scores early in the second half of the encounter, but the Eagles equalised and later extended the lead through striker Emmanuel Emenike.

Maigari, however, told NAN after the encounter that Jonathan’s visit to the team’s training session in Addis Ababa on Saturday motivated the players.

“I thank President Goodluck Jonathan for his good motivation and good mind as well as his good intention to develop Nigerian youths’’ he said.

Mike Umeh, the First Vice-Chairman of NFA, commended Nigerians for supporting the team and the association.

He said Nigerians’ support had paid off going with what the NFA had achieved in recent times.

“We must thank God. The NFA board has been a lucky board, and it is blessed. We are getting to the World Cup for the first time in history without a Task Force.

“There has been a lot of sacrifice from members of the NFA board and no fire brigade approach anymore in all our preparations.

“However, we are not going to underrate the Ethiopians when they come to Nigeria in November for the return leg. We will do our best to defeat them.

“Thank God, the altitude problem we experienced here in Ethiopia will not be there in Nigeria.

“So, we will take advantage of that because the Ethiopians took advantage of it here too,’’ Umeh said.

He commended the Super Eagles’ technical crew, as well as the team’s present set of players, saying they were ready to bring back the country’s lost glory in football.

“You know victory is very sweet. I was swallowed by the crowd when I came into the stadium the first time.

“The Ethiopians started very well, but we had to teach them some lessons because we are their senior brother.

“Our boys were up to the task. Though our boys didn’t play well in the first half, but they came to life in the second half.

“They are professionals and they want to go to Brazil to establish their professionalism in football,’’ Umeh added.

Musa Amadu, Secretary-General of the NFA, said he dreamt about the victory and was glad it came to pass.

“Words cannot explain the way I feel today in Addis Ababa. It is a great victory and God has given it to us.

“Everybody worked very hard and this is a culmination of what we have all been working for.

“By the special grace of God, when they (the Ethiopians) come to Nigeria, we should be able to complete the job,’’ Amadu said.

The NFA secretary-general said the encounter was “tension-soaked’’ going by what was at stake and the crowd which trooped to the stadium in support of the Ethiopian team.

“I was surprised by the crowd, and more especially when the Ethiopians’ goal came. But I knew we were going to come back.

“The determination of our players was evident because we equalised as soon as the Ethiopians scored, and we could have won the game with more than two goals. But we still thank God for what we have.

“In any away match, 2-1 is a great result and I know that we are on our way to Brazil,’’ Amadu added.

NAN reports that the return leg of the qualifier is scheduled for Calabar on Nov. 16.
(NAN)

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