Nigerian midfielder, Alex Iwobi, has come out to defend his role with the Super Eagles at the ongoing 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast, after being criticised for not being involved in the team’s offensive play at the tournament, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.
Iwobi has featured in all Nigeria’s matches at the tournament so far, starting three and coming on as a second-half substitute in the other, but he has also come under fire for the team’s lack of creativity in those games.
Ahead of Friday’s (today’s) quarter-final clash against Angola, the player spoke at the pre-match conference and underscored his role alongside Brentford’s Frank Onyeka in the Nigerian midfield.
“I’ve been told to keep the ball and keep it away from the other team, you don’t need a lot from me when there are creative players up front,” Iwobi said on Thursday.
“The role me and Frank are told to do is to control the game as much as we can and defend as a team.”
While the Eagles currently boast of the best defensive record of conceding just one goal at the tournament, their today’s opponents, Angola, are a free-scoring side who have nine goals already with two of their players; Gelson Dala with four goals and Mabululu Paciência with three goals among the tournament’s top scorers.
Nigeria on the other hand have scored five goals with Ademola Lookman leading that charge with two goals which were scored in the round of 16 against Cameroon.
“We watched their videos; we want to exploit their weaknesses. It’s going to be a tough game. They have been scoring a lot of goals, but we have been defending well,” Iwobi noted on the team’s chances.
Nigeria will take on Angola at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium, Abidjan at 6pm Nigerian time today.