Some ex- football international on Tuesday unanimously crowned Moses Simon as Super Eagles Most Valuable Player (MVP) at the ongoing 2021 Cameroon Africa Cup of Nations championship.
In separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) shortly after Super Eagles superlative performance defeating the Pharaohs of Egypt 1-0 in AFCON Group D opener.
Friday Ekpo, a member of the 1992 squad for Super Eagles at the Nations Cup, applauded the Super Eagles for giving a good account of themselves at the teams’ opening match in Cameroon.
He told NAN that the team as a whole was fantastic, but Simon was his man of the match, given his dexterity on the pitch.
“Congratulations to the Super Eagles, they shouldn’t do anything different from what they did today, they should listen to their coaches, they did marvellously well.
“They all did well, but I’d pick Simon as the man of the match he played well, he stood out, I hope they build on this and do great exploit in Cameroon,’’ he said.
Sharing similar view was Nduka Ugbade, a former defender for Nigeria U-20 squad in 1989, he urged the players to remain consistent and maintain the team spirit.
“I’d like to congratulate the team, and commend the players individually and collectively and coach Eguavon, he had just two weeks or thereabout and the players delivered.
“I just hope that in the next match all the missed goals will be converted, Nigeria looks like a team that may go all the way; if you ask me the player that stood out, I’d say Simon. Others are Aribo, Aina, Sanusi and Taiwo Awoniyi that kept the Egyptians busy.
“I expect that he will start again with Kelechi, because they understand each other so well, we may win this Nations Cup if they sustain this and build on it,’’ he said.
The second true heavyweight match of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations saw Nigeria take firm control of Group D with a 1-0 victory over Mohamed Salah and Egypt.
Ike Shorunmu, former Super Eagles number one goalkeeper told NAN that the next game is more important now.
He commended the boys and urged them not to rest on their oars.
“Simon really tried toady, on top of that the team work was so good, I hope they continue like this, they should keep their heads cool, the next match is more important that this one.
“Winning their next game will further boost their confidence again, we need to sustain the momentum,’’ Shorunmu said.
Liverpool’s superstar Salah was entirely locked down, with little to show for his 90-minute effort as Nigeria caged the Egyptian playmaker.
Kelechi Iheanacho’s first-half goal proved the difference as Nigeria fended off a late Pharaohs push to claim all three points.
Sylvanus Okpala, a member of the 1980 Nations Cup winning squad, told NAN that the new crops of players have shown great potential.
“Simon can even do better than he did today; he has lot of potential, look at Awoniyi, a fantastic player that should have been in Super Eagles long before now.
“I applaud them, we need this win and we got it, let’s take it each match at a time, I believe we will go far in this tournament,” Okpala said.
Come Jan. 15 Super Eagles will slug it out with Sudan, head to head Nigeria has defeated Sudan five times out of the six times they clashed.(NAN)