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Nigeria 3-1 Seychelles: What did we learn?

2:51 PM GMT+4 23/03/2019
Francis Uzoho
What lessons could be drawn from the Super Eagles’ final Afcon qualifier against the East African nation in Asaba?

  • Nigeria vs. Libya

    Combination play was erratic

    Nigeria had a lion’s share of possession against the Seychelles, but moves constantly broke down in the final third.

    While having the ball in defence and midfield was all well and good, the inability to pull off intricate moves to unlock their congested rearguard was disappointing.

    It could be a blueprint to be followed against the Super Eagles, and sides with superior quality in attack than Gavin Jeanne’s side could then hit on fast breaks – something the Pirates struggled to do.
  • Alex Iwobi - Nigeria vs. Uganda

    Gernot Rohr needs Alex Iwobi alternative

    In a side that can lack in imaginative ability and ingenuity, the consequence of the brightest player in that regard having a game to forget was evident in Nigeria’s performance.

    Specifically, against the lowly ranked East Africans Iwobi had arguably his worst outing in the green jersey.

    It was particularly characterized with heavy touches and erratic passing which predictably spread across the side as the player assigned to offer that poise failed with this remit.

    There’s no distinct player in Rohr’s side with the skillset of the Arsenal playmaker, and that dearth of quality could be significant against top opposition in the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations.

  • Uzoho Nigeria

    Is Francis Uzoho really the best Nigeria can do?

    At this point in time, it’s a question that needs to be asked, given Rohr has placed all his faith in the young shot-stopper.                                                      

    The Anorthosis Famagusta shot-stopper made another shocking error in goal which led to Rody Melanie leveling things up after Odion Ighalo’s penalty sent the home side 1-0 up.

    How the 20-year-old managed to make the comical error is anyone’s guess, but the uncertainty with him in goal begs the question whether he is good enough to be the West Africans’ number one.

  • Henry Onyekuru

    Henry Onyekuru skillset can be an asset going forward

    Even though many had called for the Galatasaray forward to get more game time, Friday’s encounter probably wasn’t the best time to utilize him given how the opposition were expected to defend.

    Nevertheless, the wideman still found room a few times to show his pace to leave his marker for dead. Similarly, Onyekuru’s off-the-ball movement came to the fore when he got on the end of Jamilu Collins’ cross to send the Super Eagles back in front.

    While Moses Simon and Samuel Kalu are natural wingers whose major strength is dribbling, Onyekuru, who’s no slouch in leaving his marker for dead, has that goalscoring instinct which could be extremely useful for Rohr down the line.

  • Gernot Rohr Nigeria

    Obsession with intricate play was exasperating

    For most of the encounter, Rohr’s side repeatedly tried to work their way into the Pirates’ box. It’s not a problem if you’re on top of your game and everything that’s tried seems to be coming off.

    However, attacks kept breaking down owing to the narrow defensive shape of Jeanne’s charges.

    It was tiresome and, to an extent, amusing to see Rohr’s side focus exclusively on playing through the congested central area when there were spaces out wide.

    Even more head-scratching was to see them persist with this after the towering Paul Onuachu was introduced to play in tandem with Odion Ighalo up front.

    Onyekuru’s goal came from the home side switching things up, so it came as a real surprise that Rohr didn’t instruct his players to be a bit less predictable.