- Alwashina Okieligi
- Football writer – Cameroon
8 hours ago
Nigeria’s interim coach, Augustine Iguafen, revealed that the strategy of “double control” of Mohamed Salah was what enabled his country to secure a valuable 1-0 victory in the African Nations Cup.
The attention of the followers of the two most prominent teams in Group C was focused on Mohamed Salah, who is currently the best player in the world.
But what happened is that Mohamed Salah was isolated throughout the match, as the Pharaohs could not impose themselves in the face of Garoua, which was dominated by the West African Eagles.
“As for the strategy, we have prepared a special plan for Mohamed Salah, because we know his capabilities,” Iguaven told the BBC.
“Basketball is one of the sports that I love so much. When you play against Allen Iverson, or Michael Jordan and others, if you don’t resort to double marks, you’re in trouble.”
“It is the strategy that I borrowed in football. When Mohamed Salah receives the ball, the nearest player goes to him, while the player who comes immediately after him prepares to push him back.”
“The plan worked 80 percent. Salah got away once or twice, which is normal. But I congratulate the players because they showed great intelligence in the game.”
Nigeria sacked German coach Gernot Rohr four weeks before the start of the competition, after many years of work, due to disappointing results in the World Cup qualifiers.
The new coach Iguaven had to deal with a major crisis represented by the injury of many key players, and their inability to join the national team in the Cameroon tournament, including defenders Leon Balogun and Shekho Abdallah, as well as strikers Victor Osimbin, Emmanuel Denis and Odion Ighalo.
But the 56-year-old coach cautioned against vanity, saying, “We must not be overconfident,” despite his “pride in what his players have achieved.”
He added, “A lot of things were said about them before the session, but they were pure professional, when you tell them something they immediately understand, which is a good thing we gained.”
“Follow the instructions and do everything we asked them to do. When you feel tired, another teammate automatically takes the burden on you. That is the spirit in which we go far. When you respect the players they will treat you the same.”
Nigeria, the three-time African Cup of Nations winner, will face Sudan on Saturday, before playing the third match, against Guinea Bissau, on January 19.
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