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Former Nigeria coach slams AFCON strikers

30 January 2015, 11:18

Lagos - Former Nigeria coach Christian Chukwu feels the strikers at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations are responsible for the alarming amount of draws the tournament has produced.

No fewer than 13 matches at the Equatorial Guinea showpiece have ended level pegging, while the highest goal margin so far was Algeria's 3-1 win over South Africa in the opening match of Group C.

Chukwu has since claimed the strikers were failing to convert their chances, because of a lack of confidence.

"We don't have good attackers at the tournament," he said. "In the game between Zambia and Tunisia, for example, the Chipolopolo had more scoring chances than their opponents but they failed to utilise them.

"The Tunisians, on the other hand, had a couple of chances which they converted and won the game.

Also read: Mali crash out of AFCON after lots

"It appears the defenders are more alert than the strikers, but the problem actually is that many teams have stopped playing African football the way it used to be.

"In African football, there's a quick transition from the midfield to the attackers who waste no time in shooting for goals."

Chukwu, the first Nigerian captain to lift the AFCON trophy after a 3-0 victory over Algeria in the final of the 1980, conceded that domestic football has changed from its traditional approach to a more modern style.

"Many of the teams now play more like European clubs by holding on to the ball for too long and allowing the opponents to recover at the backline," he added.

"This style will reduce the number of goals in any match and subsequently make it boring."

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