Amodu faces his possible successor

LUBANGO, Angola - Shuaibu Amodu faces the man who could succeed him as coach of Nigeria when they play Mozambique in a key Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) game at Tundavala Stadium today.

LUBANGO, Angola - Shuaibu Amodu faces the man who could succeed him as coach of Nigeria when they play Mozambique in a key Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) game at Tundavala Stadium today.

Reports have linked Mart Nooij from the Netherlands with the awesome task of leading Nigeria against Argentina, Greece and South Korea at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

And if Mozambique win the Group C match and qualify for the quarterfinals at the expense of Nigeria, Amodu seems certain to be sacked while Nooij's shares will inevitably soar.

Pressure on Amodu rose after a 3-1 loss to defending champions Egypt in their first match before surviving a win-or-quit ultimatum with a laboured 1-0 victory over Benin. Nigerian football officials have told the coach nothing less than an Afcon semifinal place will do, though he was fired ahead of the 2002 World Cup despite finishing third at the African tournament the same year.

Nooij caught the eye of Nigeria after his Mambas were unlucky to be held in Maputo and lost to a stoppage-time goal in Abuja when the countries met in the Afcon qualifiers.

Though they have collected a solitary point from a possible six and lie bottom of the standings, Mozambique have impressed in their fourth appearance at the biennial African football showcase.

"We made it very hard for Egypt despite giving away a soft goal that forced us to chase the game. Otherwise it would have been a lot more difficult for the reigning champions to beat us," said Nooij.

But Nigeria midfielder and man of the match against Benin, Osaze Odemwingie, is convinced his teammates will emerge victorious and reach the knockout phase. "We lacked confidence against Egypt in our first game but were much more relaxed when beating Benin and I believe we will deliver an even better performance (today)," he promised. - Sapa-AFP

X