Sunday, 11 June 2017

Nigeria 0 - 2 South Africa: How the Eagles fared

Super Eagles starting line-up against the Bafana Bafana in Uyo

Daniel Akpeyi was not at fault for any of the goals but still doesn't look confident and could not organize his shaky defence. Being in the same age range as Ikeme, he does not have much to offer going forward and so should make way for a younger goalkeeper to gain experience.

Shehu Abdullahi kept getting beaten, requiring Ekong and Onazi to clean up for him.  He was culpable for the chance the South Africans hit the post in the first half and offered nothing going forward. Not that right-back the Super Eagles needs.

Uwa Echiejile was consistently caught out of position, culminating in the South African's first goal, neither did he offer anything going forward. Needs to be replaced urgently.

William Troost-Ekong did a yeoman's job of leading the back-line and was exposed in trying to cover for the defensive deficiencies of the wing backs and those in front of him.

Chidozie Awaziem looked unsettled under pressure and was often exposed by Echiejile. He lost Rantie for the first goal and also escaped a red card late on, Still a bit immature but there is no doubt about his talent.

Ogenyi Onazi laboured for pace, and was lucky to escape being booked. His passing was pathetic too. Any hope of seeing the Onazi of old? He really shouldn't be starting games on this form.

Wilfred Ndidi kept getting into good positions but did not make good use of the chances that came his way. He was really disappointing but he is young and obviously still growing in the game.

Oghenekaro Etebo put in a decent shift with his work-rate, but missed many chances including a potential leveller. He should resort to his box-to-box role, and not a creative one.

Moses Simon was the only bright spot for a greater part of the game, but was not given sufficient support by his teammates as they were not on the same frequency.

Alex Iwobi was subdued; playing wide of an attacking trio does not seem to be his forte. 

Kelechi Iheanacho has managed to get the goals for the team consistently, but leading the line against the South Africans was asking too much of a young player who is naturally a support striker.

Ahmed Musa was fired up after being benched for Simon and helped bring the attack to life when he was introduced.

Olarewaju Kayode seemed to fare a bit better with the tight spaces in the South African defence. He looks to have come of age and is staking a good claim for a permanent place in the team.

Victor Osimhen showed zeal and enterprise and that he could be in the running for the top striker role

Coach Gernot Rohr got many of his decisions wrong. Started almost the same line up as against Corsica, that turned out not strong enough against a better drilled South African side. He didn't show the required desperation and desire to win as he failed to change an ineffective 4-3-3 formation even when in deficit. Needs to learn to select the best players and use them in their best role.

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