Things are still pretty tight in World cup qualifiers in Africa especially in group b. Tunisia lead this group with 11 points two ahead of Nigeria. The final round of matches will be played on November 14th and it will be do or die for the Super Eagles.
Nigeria who last appeared in this tournament in 2002, will definitely want to prove that they still have what it takes to compete at the highest level. I must say that looking at their current squad, they are capable of clinching the sole FIFA World Cup ticket in dramatic fashion.
Their crop of young talent includes: Chelsea’s Mikel, amazing left-back Taye Taiwo, strikers Obafemi Martins and Peter Odemwingie. However, this squad as good as they are, will never truly reach the heights attained by past generations.
I am reminded of the 1996 squad that had the likes of Amokachi, Kanu, Oliseh, Finidi George, Jay jay Okocha, Taribo West, Babayaro and Babangida. This to me was the best squad in Nigerian history. And just incase you forgot, this was the squad that beat the mighty Brazilians to win Gold in the summer Atlanta olympics.
Back then, African football was a force to reckon with. Who can forget how Okocha used to torment the Arsenal players with his clever passes and over head flicks? This time though, they will have to rely on pure grit and determination if they are to proceed to next years finals. There is no Okocha, no Oliseh, and no Amokachi. Although Kanu is still going strong, his best days am sorry to say are past.
November 14th will be judgement day and the Super Eagles should expect a tough match against the Harambee Stars in Nairobi. Kenya are out of contention for a place in South Africa but they will be looking to win this match so as to enhance their chances of qualfying for the African Cup of Nations.
Tunisia also know that the can’t afford any slip-ups against the Black Mambas of Mozambique. This will truly be an entertaining final round of games and i can only hope that Africa sends the best to South Africa.