The Super Eagles failed to beat the Leone Stars – 88 places below them on the FIFA world ranking – across two Afcon-qualifying games last week, and a former winner of the competition believes it may signal the end of Nigerians dominance on the continent
1980 African Cup of Nations-winning forward Felix Owolabi says it’s a slap on the face of Nigerian football that the country’s senior national team could not defeat Sierra Leone in the two doubleheader Afcon qualifiers.
The Super Eagles were big favourites for the encounter in Benin City, but the Gernot Rohr-led side squandered a four-goal lead to draw 4-4 against the world’s 120th-best nation.
Four days later, the three-time African champions missed the chance to salvage their battered reputation after managing a stale draw in the reverse fixture in Freetown.
And Owolabi believes it’s a shame that Nigerian football has degenerated to the point where it cannot best the minnows of the African game.
“There is no need to start making excuses for the poor performance of the Super Eagles in the home and away game of the 2021 AFCON qualifier,” the Shooting Stars icon said, as per the Guardian.
“Nigerians should understand that football in the country is dead. It is a big shame that Nigeria that has won major championships at the Junior and senior levels in the past cannot beat Sierra Leone, a country less than five million population; it is a big shame.”
Despite the two disappointing draws against their West African neighbours, Nigeria remain top of Group L with eight points and only need one victory from their last two matches to secure their place in Cameroon 2021.