Nigeria World Cup star Garba Lawal has hailed the Super Eagles 4-2 win over fellow World Cup finalists Argentina, but at the same team warned there is still a lot for the team to do before they will be ready for Russia 2018.
The Eagles fell two goals behind before they staged a remarkable comeback to win 4-2 against the fourth best team in the world.
Lawal, who featured at the 1998 and 2002 World Cups, said it was a great, confidence-boosting win, but the lapses noticed in the Eagles in the game have to be fixed for them to be competitive in Russia next year.
“It was a fantastic win for us, but the World Cup is a different ball game, this was just a friendly,” he remarked.
“It was a great second half rally that won us this game.
“The result has given us hope, but we are not there yet.
“Argentina played smart, so we should not get carried away, rather we should arrange more quality warm-ups leading up to the World Cup.
“It’s still a long way to go because the win does not mean we have a team, I noticed too many lapses especially in central defence, where they made many faulty passes
“The coach (Gernot Rohr) has to remain focused, he has to be careful about his team selection and not be confused about new players around the world.”
‘Chindo’ recounted how Adeboye Onigbinde won World Cup warm-up matches but it was a different story for the coach and his team at the 2002 tournament.
“Onigbinde won his warms-up games, but in the main tourney it was a different story,” he said.
“So, we have to forget this last game and focus on the next game.”
The ex-international who has been on the NFF technical committee also commented on the new debate concerning goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi.
He said he suspects the South Africa-based goalkeeper has not been given the necessary confidence by his coaches.
“In our days, we do not need the confidence of the coach to perform, but these days that is not the case,” he said.
“From a distance, Akpeyi has not got confidence from the coaches, his body language is not good and in this time, the coach should come out and support him against all the criticisms.”