Akwa United of Uyo striker, Mfon Udoh has come under fire from home-Eagles’ interim coach, Imama Amapakabo, following the hitman’s inability to net several begging chances that came his way during Sunday’s 2-01 loss to Togo at the West African Football Union (WAFU) Cup of Nations in Thies, Senegal.
Sunday’s loss meant the Eagles fell to the same opponent within a week, as they had also earlier lost 4-1 to The Hawks in the first leg of their Championship of African Nations (CHAN 2020) qualifiers, but Amapakabo says it would have been a different story had Udoh convert just one of three chances that came his way.
Incidentally, Udoh started the game from the bench, despite being the Eagles’ official captain for the regional competition, but it was a tale of woes all the way when he eventually entered the game, as he squandered three clear-cut chances, after he was introduced in the 63rd minute and was eventually sent off in stoppage time.
The home-based Eagles will next face the losers between Cote d’Ivoire and Cape Verde in the WAFU Cup Plate stage, after which they will again play Togo on October 19 in the reverse fixture of the CHAN 2020 qualifiers, and Amapakabo is already haunted by memories of Sunday’s loss.
The tactician put the blame on the shoulders of Udoh, but went philosophical with a hint that it could happen to any other player at any point in time, as he posited that the former Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) top scorer had an ill-fated evening..
Amapakabo told ESPN: “I told Udoh before the game that he was going to win it for us, so it was a deliberate tactical change to bring him on.
“He had two chances he should have buried; unfortunately he did not. He is one of the highest goal scorers in the league in Nigeria, but he had a bad day.
“My job as a coach is to make a team that will create chances, but it still rests on the player to convert that chance with the tactical approach of the team.”