Nigeria (National Football)

Victor Moses: Nigeria Needs Boost from Young Forward in Africa Cup of Nations

NELSPRUIT, SOUTH AFRICA - JANUARY 25:  Victor Moses of Nigeria in action during the 2013 African Cup of Nations match between Zambia and Nigeria from Mbombela Stadium on January 25, 2013 in Nelspruit, South Africa.  (Photo by Manus van Dyk/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Gallo Images/Getty Images
Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IJanuary 26, 2013

Nigeria has all the talent in the world, but the side's inconsistency throughout the years has been well documented.

Despite having a wealth of star power, the Super Eagles haven't won the Africa Cup of Nations since 1994. They've finished third in four of the past six Cups, showing the ability to win is there—but something is lacking.

Nigeria got back Chelsea forward Victor Moses in Friday's Group C clash against Zambia but only managed a 1-1 draw. It was the side's second draw in two matches to start off the Cup of Nations (following the 1-1 draw to Burkina Faso).

You may say that a draw with the defending champions of the tournament is nothing to be ashamed of, but the fact of the matter is, Zambia has not looked like a defending champion lately. The side posted a draw against Ethiopia (arguably the group's worst team) to start things off.

Nigeria needs to get its offense going, and Moses can certainly be a part of that. Young forward Emmanuel Emenike seems to be the only player who is making a significant impact at net, and that's simply not good enough to go far in the tournament or even advance past the group stage.

In limited action for Chelsea this season, Moses has shown he has the ability to make an impact. He scored a goal in four Champions League appearances and scored against Swansea in Premier League play on Nov. 3.

Nigeria has John Obi Mikel, but the 25-year-old midfielder can't carry the team by himself. In fact, he was part of the Super Eagles' disappointment on Friday, missing a critical penalty kick in the 25th minute.

Mikel could very well step up moving forward. The next match against Ethiopia could be just the breath of fresh air Nigeria needs. But if this side is to live up to its potential, it needs an X-factor at this point, and Moses could be that X-factor.

The 22-year-old is more important for Nigeria in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations than you think.

 

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