Eagles need strikers, Oduamadi coming good and the five things we learnt against Tahiti

Though the African champions scored six goals against the Oceania champions, they missed half a dozen more clear chances that leaves a lot to be desired from the encounter
By Babajide Alaka | Deputy Editor

The Super Eagles defeated Tahiti 6-1 on Monday night to record Nigeria’s biggest score-line in a Fifa senior event but in the process produced a dismal and unprofessional attitude.

Goal looks at five things that shone through in that dismal performance.


We now know that the two people that made the attack of the Eagles tick at the Nations Cup in South Africa were Victor Moses and Emmanuel Emenike. Three times, Brown Ideye came face to face with the Tahiti keeper but on all three occasions, he was found wanting. The case of Anthony Ujah was another disappointment as he fluffed his lines, continuing on his display against Namibia last week.

Seeing it is too late to get any replacements for these two and not knowing why coach Stephen Keshi decided to pick Joseph Akpala over Ikechukwu Uche and Obafemi Martins – it will do the coaching crew a lot of good to start scouting for more potent finishers.

Even when we get Emenike back into the team, there is still a very strong need to get a good replacement off the bench. We also know that there are not many options but the minimal choices that are out there like Imoh Ezekiel can be called to bolster the team. We need this as even after qualifying from our group – the home and away tie to decide who will be in Brazil needs strikers that know the way to goal and will score the goals.


For the umpteenth time, Sunday Mba showed that what he lacks in his game is that first touch and the ability to spot an opening and pass. Yes, he can run but with the opportunity to show that quality on Monday against Tahiti, his first touch let him down on many occasions.

If he improves his first touch, he will definitely become a more dangerous player running from deep but he also has to learn quick transition of the ball – not always dallying in possession and breaking down the players that are trying to run off him.

These qualities will keep European sides from making his purchase – at least the very serious ones. He could get away with that poor technique in second rate leagues but if he wants to mix it with the big boys, he must improve and quickly. 


When Ogenyi Onazi got injured, a lot of Nigerian fans collectively sighed and that apprehension has been confirmed in Brazil. The Lazio man's short stint in the national team has made such a mark that a replacement in the form of Fegor Ogude was relatively marked poor against Tahiti.

Though we cannot be sure about the thinking of the coach, the performance of the Valerenga midfielder was nothing to write home about. He gave away too many fouls and was caught out of position too many times though we will have to blame a bit of that on the bad positional play of Mikel Obi.

The news that a miracle has happened and that Onazi would play against Uruguay on Thursday will be welcomed with loud cheers.


The goal the Eagles gave away to Tahiti came through comical defending by Efe Ambrose and a nonchalant disposition from Vincent Enyeama. In the 42nd minute, Tahiti’s Steevy Chong Hue almost scored with a diving header with Godfrey Oboabona and Kenneth Omeruo literally miles away. 

The same unprofessional conduct was shown against Mexico when runners from deep were not being picked up. Against the attacking trio of Edinson Cavani, Luis Suarez and Gaston Ramirez of Uruguay, the lapses will be well explored.


The AC Milan player, Nnamdi Oduamadi, on loan to Varese did not actually play so much better than his mates but he put in a greater shift for the team and that earned him his three goals – becoming the first Nigerian player to achieve that feat in a Fifa senior event.

After coming in to replace Afcon hero, Victor Moses, he rescued the Eagles from almost certain defeat against Kenya in Calabar in April and in his fifth appearance for the Eagles scored thrice. That is four goals in five appearances, a more than good ratio for the 22-year old.

Though he still has a long way to go before he can challenge the top echelon, he possesses the basics and if he works hard at his game, then he stands a chance in the Eagles for the future.

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