Super Eagles Two-Legged Int’l Friendlies: Matters Arising

By Daily sports on October 19, 2020

Views: 328

Last week, the Super Eagles played two international friendly games against two first rate African football playing countries with high pedigrees, Algeria and Tunisia during the FIFA widow.

The result of the games are not the issue here as they already in public purview. The reason for the discussion on this page today is to critically analyse all aspects of the football friendly objectively no more, no less.

I watched the game against the current African Champions, Algeria from start to finish and would say that the football match was lost and won via the early minutes goal by the North African side. The bench, eagle eyed like, spotted the tiny defensive opening and effectively capitalised on it to score the only and winning goal, in the game that the Nigerian side would have come out in worst case scenario with a drawn game, either score or goalless.

It never came out that way. The boys came to the game cautiously studying and giving undue and uncalled for respect to their opponents. Although the Desert Foxes were careful not to open their back for the giant West African nation but the bench was up and doing hence the single opening noticed in the Super Eagles tactical formation was used to draw the first blood that proved decisive at the end of the match. Though seen on paper as friendly, in reality it echoed the lingering football rivalry that both countries are known for over the years.

One must point out that all efforts by Rohr led Nigerian crew to relaunch offensive was effectively checked by Algeria whose head coach formulated water tight match plan that frustrated the spirited efforts by their Nigerian counterparts.

In every standard, it met with the expectations of both football analysts and pundits that follow matches between these two arch rivals in the round leather sports way back. Players of both countries displayed their stuffs but the tactical formation and technical strategy that thoroughly dwarfed Rohr’s made Algeria to again run away with lone goal victory after turning back same team during the last AFCON football summit held in Egypt.

However it afforded both the technical crew and the Nigerian fans the opportunity to assess their team and what to expect as the qualifiers for AFCON beckons. Whatever must have been observed, one prays that it would be harnessed critically and weak areas strengthened so as to get results against the big teams both in the continent and the World henceforth.

Let me confess that Gernot Rohr has proved to be good in discovering talented Nigerian lads plying their trades out who are equally willing to lace their boots for their Father land. However, the problem area as I can vividly say here has been to achieve the ultimate results in matches against the big nations of African football.

Rohr ought to have stamped his feet firmly now and give us rapid result as Clemens Westerhof did with the team in the 1990’s. Without any prejudice, it may not be out of place to say that he looks as if he has less capacity to harness the depth potential the flamboyant Nigerian team needed.

It is time for him to brace up and face squarely the realities starring him on the face.

Again, let me say that the second game against Tunisia was vastly improved version in all facets and the Nigerians played more compactly and purposeful too as the new boys that cut their teeth in the national side proved promising in that game. The Eagles played more like a team and were more relaxed unlike what obtained during their match against Algeria where the Nigerians played under tension. It was like the first game was just played with fear.

The Tunisia match was more interesting and cohesive that allowed the players to express themselves fully. Their displays set the tone for the match that saw Nigerians scoring first which further brought more confidence and smooth playing pattern.

The Tunisians saw well organised Eagles that came to win the match but no thanks to the lost penalty kick by Iheanacho. The substitutes added value enduringly. I don’t want to point at any particular substitute that did yeoman’s job since football is a team sport. It was a great game for both sides which showed Tunisia as equally a strong side coming from behind to draw level and held same till the end of proceedings.

Yes the games have come and gone, lessons learnt and one believes that the Rohr led Nigerian technical team would get it well from there and let the errors identified, corrected or rectified before the qualifiers despite that our opponents are never our match, head or tail.

Generally it was good attempt to try to come back after a long while occasioned by COVID 19 pandemic.  We believe the Eagles would come back resoundingly and take headlong tougher opponents in future without us holding our hearts in our hands.

Our social media handles are on 247, let us discuss the Eagles and her technical crew and proffer suggestions. Keep shooting hard till next week as the Struggle Continues!!

Source Daily sports

Posted October 19, 2020


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