Eagles must hold Salhadin Said
Most Nigerians know a Saladin as a rugged and deadly armored car introduced by the British in Biafra and still used by the security forces till today. They will soon get to meet another one.
Though he spells it a little different EthiopiaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Salhadin Said is just as rugged and deadly and will aim to play a major role when the two nations clash in Addis Ababa.
As EthiopiaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s leading scorer he is fast cunning and deadly with his head and will surely test the Nigerian defenders especially during set pieces which the Antelopes are known to practice methodically.
We all know that Godfrey Oboabona is without a doubt NigeriaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s best defender and would start for any team in Africa. That notwithstanding he will still have to have a monster game against the slick East African star who plays for Wadi Degla at home for Nigeria to be successful.
It is because of players like Said that Ethiopia without a doubt is the top favorite to now win Chan and Keshi knows this. He is not locked into the fact that against Nigeria on January the 29th 2013 in Rustenburg the AntelopeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Number seven was held scoreless by the suffocating Eagles defense that pressed very high.
He remembers that his Goal Keeper Vincent Enyeama was named Man of the Match after 3 monster save – two coming of shots by Said. He also knows that at home the Ethiopian Salhadin runs as if on different fuel, and will seek to replicate his 2012 performance when he scored not once, but twice against Nigeria.
Salhadin is also quite confident and considering EthiopiaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s record at home shouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be blamed. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Nigeria will get the game of their life and their players know itÃ¢â‚¬Â he shared with supersport.com. Ã¢â‚¬Å“They are a good team but we gave them too much respect in South Africa and will come at them from the opening whistleÃ¢â‚¬Â he added.
If the Super Eagles players know that they are in for a fight (and having talked to them they do) their Federation seemingly does not and the NFF have incomprehensibly opted to fly the African champion in just a day before the game.
Incomprehensible because Addis Ababa is the 5th highest capital in the world with an elevation of 7,546 feet. Meanwhile Nigeria as we know, plays her best football in Calabar which lies at a mere 105 feet. To me that would suggest that even rolling a perfect garri ball would become a gargantuan task, let alone playing high quality Football for almost two hours
You can bet that Said and all of Ethiopia is counting on it and on Sunday October the 13th at circa 5 pm (CAT) after 90 minutes of hopefully delicious football, we all will know the end result.