IKENWA NNABUOGOR tasks KRC Genk striker Paul Onuachu to shoot his way to Eagles relevance again in the friendlies against Algeria and Tunisia in Austria…
With rather forgettable AFCON 2019 bad memories ringing in his head, Belgium-based striker Paul Onuachu must grab this rare chance to announce his comeback to Super Eagles reckoning and make the striker’s shirt his own.
Covid-19 Pandemic travel restrictions prevented star striker Victor Osimhen from continuing his sweet Eagles outing and that opened the back door for Onuachu to take a second shot at international glory with Nigeria.
The former FC Midtylland front man has not disappointed since he arrived at the camp in Austria and hogged the headlines for the right reasons.
Impressed Eagles coach Gernot Rohr has not hidden his admiration for his hitherto lost guy as the lanky lad continued to do his comeback a world of good by impressing in training leading up to the friendlies.
Rohr has since announced that Onuachu will lead the attack in the first of the double encounters against Algeria tonight.
So good he was at training that he got his nose in front in the strikers’ pecking order ahead of the much- celebrated Genk team mate Cyriel Dessers.
Onuachu has also proved a better marksman in the Belgian Jupiler Pro League ahead of Dessers as he currently sits on top of the leading scorers’ chart with seven goals as against Dessers’s two.
True to type and expectedly, Onuachu brought his scoring boots along to the Eagles’ Austria camp and equally responded gamely hitting the target admirably in the training games.
Dessers, though coming back from injury hasn’t fared better, looking less sharper in front of goal than Onuachu.
The Algeria game is some sort of revenge game after the North Africans denied Eagles a chance of claiming their fourth AFCON title in Egypt last year via a late winner by Manchester City’s Riyadh Mahrez and Rohr and company are not smiling about it.
The task of getting Eagles pound of flesh lies on the lanky feet of Onuachu and anything short of an assured performance with a goal or two may hurt his Eagles chances going forward.
Onuachu will not do the job alone; well-fortified cannon fodder must be well manned by the men in the middle led by debutant and former FC Midtylland midfielder for him to fire the goals.
In truth, Onuachu has improved greatly over the years with enough experience in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa Cup and all these are expected to come to bear tonight against the African champions.
Football watchers have begun to sing Osimhen/Onuachu twin strike partnership song in the nearest future and Onuachu’s showing tonight will decide if the song will hit double platinum or end up a commercial failure.
Expectations are high, the pressure is mounting, but how well his powerful shoulders handle all these remains to be seen beginning tonight.