Whatever may be the outcome of today’s final match of the African Nations Championship (CHAN), taking place at the Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca, Morocco, former International, Felix Owolabi, says the Super Eagles should be celebrated as heroes.To set up the clash with hosts, the Super Eagles pipped the Falcons of Jediane by a lone goal, while the Atlas Lions beat the Mediterranean Knights 3-1 in extra time.
Owolabi told The Guardian, yesterday, that the Eagles have impressed him, adding that the boys have done what was expected of them.
“One thing that I like about the CHAN Eagles is the fact that they improved after every match. What gladdens my heart most is that they won all their games except one. In football, it is not how good you are or how well you performed, it is the scoreline that matters, and that is what everybody sees at the end of the day.
“The person who wins takes the whole shine off the his/her opponent. I am very happy for the Eagles because this is the first time most of the players will be going to a continental championship of that magnitude,” he said.
The former Shooting Stars of Ibadan winger, who commended the team for its performance, said Eagles have a 40 to 60 chance of winning the trophy.
“All what these boys have done is a matter of commitment and loyalty to their fatherland. My prayer is that they win the cup in tomorrow (today’s) final. But the hosts too have been playing very well, winning all their matches. There is every chance that it is going to be 60-40 per cent advantage to Morocco, as they are playing at home. They have spent a lot of money and what have you,” he said.
The graduate of physical education is, however, not ruling out any upset from the Eagles, who would be striving to crown their efforts with glory.
“But then I still have high hopes, and believe in these boys that anything can happen. Let us just leave the game open, as it may be a bonus and a reward for their commitment and dedication.
“I supported these boys right from the beginning of the championship and never doubted their capabilities. It does not matter whether Coach Gernot Rohr takes anyone of them to Russia, but whether we like it or not, this championship has exposed these players.
“The Moroccans are very sleeky, but let us not underrate our boys too. I believe the game is going to be decided within 90 minutes. The only thing that I want our boys to do is to watch out for counter-attacks by the Moroccans.
“This is the time for Rohr to give the boys tips based on what he has seen so far watching the Moroccans. It is time to instruct them on what to expect, and what to do to overcome the North Africans,” he stated.