5 Reasons Why Home Eagles Got Humiliated By Morocco In CHAN Final

5 Reasons Why Home Eagles Got Humiliated By Morocco In CHAN Final

Following the home-based Super Eagles 4-0 defeat to hosts Morocco in the final of the 2018 Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) on SundayCompletesportsnigeria.com‘s JAMES AGBEREBI lists FIVE reasons why the team lost…
Despite his poor clinical ability, Anthony Okpotu brought bite to the home-based Super Eagles attack.
But it was a surprise when he was dropped to the bench by coach Salisu Yusuf for Peter Eneji whose only game was in that final against Morocco having missed the rest of the tournament with injury.
Okpotu was later brought on but the game had already been won and lost.
Before the final, most the Eagles’ games had been played in front of scanty crowds, except the group game against Libya.
But it was a different ball game when they faced the hosts in the final inside the 45,600 seater Mohamed V Stadium that was nearly filled to capacity.
Aside from finding ways to contain the rampaging Moroccans, the Eagles also had to deal with the noise coming from the fans.
Unfortunately, it turned out to be a disaster as they were roundly trounced.
At 0-0, the Eagles were clearly second best in the game and it was a matter of time before they conceded the first goal on the struck of half-time.
And when Peter Eneji was shown his second yellow card, it would have taken a miracle for the Eagles to get anything from the game.
Following the red card to Eneji, the Eagles completely collapsed, lost organisation, focus and shape.
Though the Eagles made it to the final, but it was obvious the team lacked proper cohesion.
The players could not string two, three, four passes together.
They relied mainly on their physicality, athleticism, ruggedness and power.
It was evident they bulldozed their way to final by overpowering their opponents but came unstuck against a sleek, well organized Moroccan side.
Injuries were a major factor why the Eagles lost scandalously to Morocco in the final.
Number one choice goalkeeper, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, who had been outstanding since the commencement of the tournament, had to be stretchered off against Sudan in the semi-final.
Sunday Faleye, another player who was beginning to grow into the competition, injured his arm in the quarter-final against Angola.
Also, the decision of the coach to go for a Peter Eneji who just recovered from injury, could be blamed for their heavy loss in the final.
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  • @James Agberebi, thanks for your thoughts.

    POOR SELECTION? The only person that did not play from the start was Anthony Okpotu. Ezenwa was injured. We don’t know why the coach benched him but I personally did not see the effectiveness of this guy in that attacking role. All the comments I have read so far are all negative about him. I learnt he was the league’s top scorer but he didn’t show it in Morocco. It was a bad day in the office. It happens. Harry was rubbish in NC but terror in the league. It happens. I believe the coach has a plan. Maybe he intended wearing out the Moroccan defence a bit before bringing him in or something. I don’t know.

    LACK OF COHESIVE PLAY. You say them “bulldoze” their way into the finals abi. You no for insult them if them win the trophy with bulldozerlike style. You no for dey write all this kind of things if they win before. Oga CSN, If bulldozing dey win matches, we should be adopting it o. After all football na jam body game. That red card na him make the Moroccans be like say they over play. The statistics at the end was 57-43. I hear say that team na their really really WC team. Them no go cross 1st round with that team. Our WC team go beat them well well.

    PLAYING AGAINST THE HOME CROWD? What do you mean by this? I think the home crowd are tagged the 12th player. So why is the Eagles’ 12th player something else? They even have a 13th player- the ref!! The crowd contributed but don’t make it look as if the Nigeria team were so overwhelmed by the crowd, as if they are Agoraphobics or allergic to crowd. You are insulting the players. You mean they can only play in a stadium with scanty crowd like our stadium on match day? People prefer to watch premier league.

    THAT RED CARD!!!! That red card was the death stroke. The Moroccans are better than the Nigerians. I am not doubting that. But we held on to 43 minutes before the 1st goal. But it is also on record that Moses and Gabriel were tormenting the Moroccan defence. Who knows what might have happened if Moses was still on the field. The commentator even said it that Nigeria was getting into the game. It was beginning to be ‘give me, I give’ sort of. They were beginning to give as much as they were taking. Until that spoiler of a red card. That referee. That referee. That referee. Make I no talk.

    INJURY TO SOME PLAYERS: This is no excuse. All players are capable players. Only Ezenwa that was seriously injured and his duputy was capable. Even if it was Ezenwa that was in goal, with that red card, the 4goals or more might have gone in. We will never know. What we know is that Nigeria did well by coming out second out of 54 teams or countries that started the journey. It was a great achievement. Clap for Nigeria.

  • We have to ask ourselves why the Home based Eagles always collapse, when it matters most.
    It happened at the Wafu cup final in Ghana, now it has happened again in Chan 2018 in Morroco.
    I think the technical deficiency of the bench has always been our Achilles tendon in these competitions. For example when Eneji was given a red card and we were reduced to 10 men, I expected the coach to have introduced a defensive midfielder or defender, and not an attacker in the person of Anthony Okpotu, as the pressure was already so much on the Eagles.
    The above correct substitution would have either led to a low score loss for the Eagles or led the match into a stalemate and thereafter penalty kicks.
    Our coaches need to upgrade their game in the areas of strategic thinking in order to analyze properly the strength and weakness of their teams, and those of their opponents too, in order to win major competitions.