Present Super Eagles and Rohr good enough to win Nigeria’s 4th AFCON title, Utaka says

Ex-international forward John Utaka says he is confident that the current crop of Super Eagles players can win the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) with their Head Coach, Gernot Rohr.

Utaka told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja that his confidence was strong on the basis of the abundance of young and quality talents at Rohr’s disposal.

He added that continuity was the team’s strength moving forward, and such was important for a team in search of continental success to gain dominance.

“The present Super Eagles are on a good run which can only lead to tremendous achievement in the nearest future. This team is full of talents and quality.

“I believe Rohr is doing an immense job with the team and very soon Nigeria will start reaping the reward of continuity,’’ he said.

The former wing forward said Rohr was a great coach and he has done well to lead the Super Eagles to win bronze medal at the last AFCON in just  two years of rebuilding.

“I wonder why the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) have not offered him a new contract to complete what he started.

“The experiences of the last AFCON and World Cup will propel the team to bigger things in the future.

“I have this strong belief that the present Super Eagles players can win a fourth AFCON title for Nigeria next year in Cameroon if the technical crew led by Gernot Rohr is retained.

“The players will benefit from their working together under the same coach and a grown level of maturity to win the African title,’’ Utaka said.

The former RC Lens player regards his game for Nigeria against Cameroon in the 2004 AFCON semi-finals in Tunisia as the happiest moment of his football career for both club and country.

He added that he had a good tournament even though they lost in the final match to hosts Tunisia.

“It was my first Nations Cup finals appearance for Nigeria and the Cameroonians opened scoring through Samuel Eto’o, but Austin Okocha replied with a sweet free-kick before my goal in the second half won it for Nigeria.

“It was a special goal which I still cherish till date.’’

Utaka added that another game he would not forget easily was the 2012 title-winning game at Montpellier HSC against Auxerre.

“We won 2-0 away from home and I scored.’’(NAN)


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