5 Takeaways From Super Eagles’ Win Over Seychelles

5 Takeaways From Super Eagles’ Win Over Seychelles

The Super Eagles recorded their first win of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifers against Seychelles on Saturday. Goals from Ahmed Musa, Chidozie Awaziem and Odion Ighalo got NIgeria the much needed win. Completesportsnigeria.com’s Johnny Edward here highlights five revelations about the Super Eagles from the match.


The Super Eagles created several chances in the game against Seychelles but were hugely disappointing in front of goal despite netting three goals. Changchun Yatai’s striker Odion Ighalo who has scored 16 Chinese Super Leagues goals in 22 appearances was the biggest culprit despite getting the team’s third goal from the spot. The former Watford striker had three other opportunities to score but failed. Bordeaux winger Samuel Kalu and Ahmed Musa also had some attempts at goal but they fluffed their lines.


The Super Eagles outclassed Seychelles in the opening stages of the game dominating possession but rarely carved out neat chances to score goals. Gernot Rohr’s team looked dangerous on fast break occassionaĺly, but their flamboyance counted for nothing as the forwards lacked the killer instinct to nail their hosts when the advantage came their way. The Super Eagles must learn to be ruthless in goal hunt when they face minnows. The team missed the experience and calmness of captain John Mikel Obi in midfield and slick passes of Alex Iwobi, who could have added more sharpness in the attack.


The Super Eagles’ lack of creativity was obvious from the outset. The two wingers Ahmed Musa and Samuel Kalu didn’t get enough support from Kelechi Iheanacho who was assigned to the No.10 role in the game. The Leicester City forward did not pull the needed strings for the team. In the past the Nigerian team has always thrived on the marauding runs of the winger well supported by a playmaker, but Iheanacho offered little in terms of creativity. Against a well organised team the Super Eagles will struggle to create chances to score from open play.


Kelechi Iheanacho has not lived up to his billing as one with the ability to evoke memories of past players who have starred in the No.10 role for the Super Eagles. Iheanacho struggled in that position. His play lacked fluency which is a trait of a classy playmaker of a team. The problem, of course, is where Gernot Rohr will deploy him when the big guns return to the squad. Potentially, Rohr has somewhat selection nightmare on his hands with the emerging talent at his disposal as he has to find a way of creating space for a Iheanacho in the team but certainly not the No.10 role.


Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr handed debut to Samuel Kalu and Semi Ajayi in the encounter and both players gave a good account of themselves.

Kalu playing at the right side of a three-man attack offered the team more width and pace each time the Super Eagles attacked. He also showed how brilliant he was taking on the Pirates defence in one vs one situations.

Ajayi on his part showed his versatility playing as a right-back when he came on for the injured Chidozie Awaziem. The Rotherham United defender was calm and solid.

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  • Ikeben 3 years ago

    The problem of scoring, and the problem of a natural playmaker only exist because of the personnel the coach chooses. Iheanacho is not the best no.10, while Ighalo is not the best no.9 at his disposal.
    Musa and Kalu were impressive but the deficiency of these affected the team. I think the major challenge in the SE, since the world cup is the coach not knowing the best players to deploy at a particular position.

    But I must commend them for their contributions in the 3goals. At least Ighalo had a goal and an assist, while Iheanacho had a good free kick that led to the second goal.

    So I look forward to Tuesday game and hope the coach will test the bench warmers and adjust his first 11 to reflect the real strength of this new Super Eagles.

  • Gboyega 3 years ago

    I think the real issue for this present SE is GR. I beleive he’s a good manager, but not a so good coach or tactician. He alone came, gave us a reason to look forward to d WC and also dashed our hope. There’s really not been a so clear difference in d way we play now frm then other then he’s been able to drive d players progressively, something SK also did in 2013. I saw d Libya game against SA, I beleive they are our toughest opponents in d group, you can see something in that team that  d Nigerian team doesnt have. I don’t like pointing finger at Ighalo bcos I understand that d problem is not him but those around him, he may not be getting goals like Musa but I don’t think some established strikers will  even fair better with the way we play. If Iheanacho is nt careful, all that well be needing him for will be his free kicks. I hate to c that happen

    • Birikiti 3 years ago

      Absolutely agree. I believe he needs someone that will take the role Bonfrere filled for Westerhof!

  • Isaac 3 years ago

    Iheanacho does not lack creativity. his problem is that he is too goal-minded to the extent that he forsakes his primary duty as a playmaker which I believe is to create chances in search for goals. That’s why he was often found in goalscoring positions with Ighalo against Seychelles while neglecting his creative role. This was also palpable in the world cup friendly against Poland where he featured as no.10. He can give good passes, but the coach may need to remind him of him of what is primarily expected of him when playing the no.10 role.

    • Birikiti 3 years ago

      Iheanacho, unfortunately, will soon be out of this team when Rohr mans up to his responsibility. Atrocious first touch, no urgency and gradually losing his greatest attribute – shooting skill

  • Ayphillydegreat 3 years ago

    The problem is Ighalo. Did you notice the great lobbed pass Iheanacho gave him that he lobbed over the keeper and hit the upright? Ighalo is the kind of striker that will have 10 chances in a match and can only score one out it. That’s if he didn’t miss all ten. Obviously I don’t think Kelechi is a better number 10, but he showed some flashes of brilliance especially that free kick, and he seems to be SuperEagles go to guy whenever we have a free kick around the edge of the box.

    When Musa and Iheanacho played together at the WorldCup SuperEagles attack was purposeful. I just don’t think Ighalo is the right partner for Kelechi upfront. Musa or Onyekuru should be that guy.

    • Birikiti 3 years ago

      I agree with you on Ighalo and the soon Rohr made that decision the better for all. On Iheanacho, I am of the opinion that he has stagnated! He’s not upped his game. Atrocious first touch & anonymous for greater parts of the game! Totally unacceptable for someone in his class! He’s in danger of losing his place on the team & it doesn’t appear he’s bothered.
      As for set pieces, Etebo & Samuel Kalu will soon take over those duties effectively.., Kalu especially has walked into the Bordeaux first team & has taken up the set-pieces responsibility!
      The regulars in Super Eagles better wake up, young turks are knocking on the door!

  • What is this one saying.. u complained about d coach,players and one can hardly get your points. Nigerians can never be satisfy win,draw or loose still d blame game syndrome..for ur information Senegal and Cameroon drew with Madagascar and Comoros respectively. Football has really gone beyond the way some of us reason.

  • Isaac 3 years ago

    Iheanacho does not lack creativity. his problem is that he is too goal-minded to the extent that he forsakes his primary duty as a playmaker which I believe is to create chances in search for goals. That’s why he was often found in goalscoring positions with Ighalo against Seychelles while neglecting his creative role. This was also palpable in the world cup friendly against Poland where he featured as no.10. He can give good passes, but the coach may need to remind him of him of what is primarily expected of him when playing the no.10 role.

  • Isaac 3 years ago

    @editor, takeaway Ighalo from the team and you will see Nigeria scoring goals

  • Mykel 3 years ago

    The coach must get us a striker as quickly as possible, he can get one from d local league if we can’t find one in Europe, ighalo has done his best and he can’t give what he does not have. Iheanacho is a player that no one knows where to play him, he has failed in all positions, it simply means he is not good enough.

    • Ayphillydegreat 3 years ago

      He has failed in all positions, but he has scored 8 goals and 5 assists in only 22 appearances for the SuperEagles.

  • Replace Ighalo with Onyekuru and you will see goals. Quite simply front three of Onyekuru on the left, Musa in the middle and Kalu on the right supported by Etebo/Ogu/Nwakali just behind them will guarantee goals.

    Ighalo one goal in 2018 (penalty), one in 2017 and one in 2016 is not good enough for our central striker.

  • Chairmanfemi 3 years ago

    I agree with that frontline formation of yours that compromises of Onyekuru, Musa and Kalu. But for the Midfield, the greatest mistake Super eagles can make in the Midfield is to exclude Wilfred Ndidi. So I’ll prefer Ndidi 4, Ogu, Nwakali (10).

    • Isaac 3 years ago

      I like your midfield combination. Ndidi-Ogu is better than Ndidi-Onazi for me, and I believe for majority as well. Nwakali can take the AM role against Liberia. Mikel and Iwobi should replace Ogu and Nwakali respectively for the Libya game in October

    • Yes not excluding Ndidi for a minute. Etebo/Ogu//Nwakali in the stacking roles with Ndidi anchoring the midfield. Could be diamond with Ndidi at the bottom, Ogu left, Etebo right and Nwakali at the top.
      Was focusing on the attacking players. Eventually hope to see Moses Simon returning from injury to left wing and Onyekuru alternating between left wing cover and central striker as required

    • Chairmanfemi 3 years ago

      But you know Coach Gernot Rohr is not a fan of 4-4-2 formation @BigD though that midfield combination of yours are dangerous. We only use 3 midfielders in our games .

      • Yes, he likes to play five at the back (with right back and left back). Three in the middle would be Ogu Left, Ndidi middle and Etebo/Nwakali right. Then ywo out of three up top of Onyekuru, Musa and Kalu.
        But I think we have all learnt not to second guess his selection

  • Sunnyb 3 years ago

    The problem is Ighalo and iheanacho.Nwakali or etebo  are far better than iheanacho in that attacking midfield position period. Iheanacho loses possession easily, most of his passes are not accurate, as for Ighalo I’m done with that guy.. Onyekuru or Dennis should be preferred in that position.guys I ve said it before and i would say it again Pay for play is the bane of Nigeria soccer..onazi, Ezenwa, iheanacho, Ighalo, Akpeyi Needs explanation.

  • Chima E Samuels 3 years ago

    If Ighalo is our best striker then it is a very big shame to Nigeria and like Sunyb pointed out what is Akpeyi doing in this team? combining bad wine with good wine that was why Ighalo made Nigeria exit the world cup and Akpeyi made us loose against South Africa

    • Akpeyi made us lose against South Africa…. what a load of rubbish.
      The whole team played badly against south Africa. Tokelo Ranti scored against Enyeama and scored against Akpeyi.
      Akpeyi is one of Nigeria better keeper he just likes to look as if he doesn’t Sabi but he Sabi.

  • Odion Ighalo is the most abused player on this site but reasonable ones know otherwise. I mean those who can think things out for themselves and not those that think the think of others. Someone pointed out that Odion Ighalo has scored 16/22 goals so far this season. Someone said the Chinese league is not tough that’s why he could score 16 goals in 22 matches. I disagree. No matter how low a league is, to score that number of goals is a feat. But the Chinese league is tough. Therefore,
    there must be something in the Super Eagles that is affecting the talent of this young man or making him not to score goal. He is cool headed, does not do alcohol or drug. He is not the party going type or a womanizer. He is religious. He trains well. So what is making him not perform well with the Super Eagles? The only possible cause I can lay my hands on so far is the coach and his team mates. The coaches still see Odion Ighalo as our beat striker. There must be a reason!!! He is just our best striker so far until someone better rise up. My advise to the coach since he still see Odion Ighalo as his best striker is to seriously study how his clubs in England and China have been using him and adopt it. This is common sense. Those who usually like to satisfy their drug habit by abusing Odion Ighalo should stop and think too. For now we have no better striker than Odion Ighalo. That is our lot and we need to put head and brain together and help him. Abusing him will not help. Abusing him will only make him downhearted. He needs encouragement with our comments as I believe some of these players read Complete Sports. Perhaps Odion Ighalo reads it too.

    • Chika Andrew 3 years ago

      Quoting you, “My advise to the coach since he still see Odion Ighalo as his best striker is to seriously study how his clubs in England and China have been using him and adopt it. This is common sense.” Maybe the Coach does not have common sense. 2018 World Cup in Russia, In each game Nigeria played, Ighalo missed 1 on 1 with the goal keepers. Go back, watch those games. Ighalo’s game is straight forward: no creativity, no trickery, no magic. To play as a striker, you must think faster than defenders and then act out your thoughts very quickly. Ighalo is just plain, direct footballer.

    • Greenturf 3 years ago

      @djch yes they read our comments indeed.
      I bumped into Awoniyi a couple of months ago in a African cuisine just after the world cup in Russia.Amongst those in his company where his twin sister and wife.Was astonished when he introduced a nice dark lady as his wife apparently both of them are laid back.
      So I used that great opportunity to chat with him about football and I encouraged him and told him I read about his exploits in the just concluded league on Nigerian sports websites and to my amazement he mentioned owngoalNigeria.ng and few others as sports website he visits on regular basis.Our posts are read by footballers and most of us are popular as well for our diverse assessments and analysis.
      God bless Nigeria!

  • ighalo our best striker, he just need services from de back. they need to create chances for him he wil surely score. atleast we create 20 or 30 chances for him, i think he can score 2 goals. is he not de highest goalscorer in china. kelechi is stil in de team bcuz of his free kicks.all hope is not lost iwobi answer to de no10 role. but de problem is rohr. invite our ever best young tall striker who we all know dat surpass yekini, u must all know who i’m talkin about.

    • Chika Andrew 3 years ago

      @Oluwa: You are very right, Coach Rohr is the problem. He made Ighalo his favorite player. Please, go back to World cup qualifying games and friendly games before World Cup 2018 and the World cup games. Ighalo has problems scoring goals even when he got the opportunities, the chances. The goals came from Alex Iwobi, Victor Moses, Ahmed Musa, Kelechi & others. Not from Ighalo and he is not Nigeria best striker. 1 goal each year for the past 3 years.

  • Omo9ja 3 years ago

    I can’t stop laughing with most of the comments here lol. In reality, the scoring rates were too poor.

    The only problem the current team is having now is coach Rohr and NFF.
    Ask me why and i will tell you the reasons.

    Mr. Rohr failed to understand that no time to check time that is why he keep repeating the same mistakes. Late substitutions would never helped him.
    He doesn that to Kayode and Osemeh against South Africa to tarnished their image and after that he never invited both of the players which they were better than Ighalo.

    He also did that to Simy in Russia and also Onyekuru over the weekend but Onyekuru proved to him sorry I won’t be defeated by you Oga Rohr.

    Nobody hates Ighalo but what we are saying here is that we need a goal machine for Super Eagles. However, Ighalo is a nice person and very humble man but that is not the issue.

    In terms of goal scoring, he can only score two goals out of ten. For this reason, “Adi” is the solution to the Eagles problem because, he is such a player to Amokachi and Agahowa.

    Meanwhile, NFF has a role to play since the coach Salisu Yusuff has shooting himself in the leg. NFF needs to replaced coach Salisu with someone.

    NFF should please ask coach Siasia or any of the indigenous coach to work with coach Rohr. For me, I prefer Siasia to take over from coach Salisu if coach Sa1 can work with Mr. Rohr.

    Mr. Siasia have to learn how to deal with players because they are not his servants but kids to him and he have to put ego and bossy attitude aside and be a great manager. By doing this, Sia1 will becoming a great manager in Africa and in the world. So therefore, over to you CSN.

    Calling players to camp for coach Rohr is not the problem but he’s not going to use them because is like we are imposing the players on him.

    Mr. Rohr do not have faith in 70% of the players in camp presently for tomorrow’s match. What is the purpose of playing one game with some of these players and in the end, he would dropped them to the bench or even not inviting them to the camp.

    For me, Idowu, Akpayi, Ighalo, Aina has no place in Eagles. However, Uzoho, Alanpasu and an experienced goalkeeper such as Ayenugba should be with young ones in terms of experience.

    Nwakeli junior, Ogu, Onyekuru and Semi Ajayi plus Adi as our main striker, Problem solved.

    But in reality, I don’t think this would works because people in charge of football do not care of our “image” but their “pockets”. “Sorry ooo”, the “truth is hurts”. God bless all. God bless Nigeria!!!

    • Omo9ja, I tell you honestly, Olanrewaju Kayode, I think, will cause defences more havoc than Ighalo.

      Yes, Kayode has limitations which are hard to ignore but, given the same amount of opportunity,time and latitude that Rohr has afforded Ighalo, I think Kayode would have delivered better.

      Even if not scoring but as a menace and nuisance in the opponents’ 18 yard, Kayode would cause more headache in my view.

      But hey, what do I know?

    • Olanrewaju Kayode has been injured since July so at this time is not in contention. Same way nobody is talking about Moses Simon. They need to rehabilitate with their clubs and start playing regularly (add Isaac Success to the list of those who need to prove consistency before a call up).

      Ighalo just like Joel Obi) has a problem with playing for SE. One goal per year cannot be good enough for our top striker. We have been waiting since 2015 for him to find the goal and he missed THREE (3) T.H.R.E.E chances against Seychelles. Three!!! He simply cannot cut it at international level and needs to make way for proven goal scorers.

      Onyekuru (Galatasaray Turkish champions), Nwakaeme (Trabzonspor Turkey plus Europa cup), Eleke (Luzon Swiss 3rd in league) and Bonaventure Dennis (Club Brugge Belgian champions) have all scored more than once for their clubs (either as league leaders or in Europa cup) this month.

      Playing regularly in Italy does not mean you will do well anywhere, just ask Simy Nwankwo who looks like a fish out of water in the Super Eagles line up. Aina though is our best right back at this time and when Shehu Abdullahi is back from injury and maybe add Seth Sincere and we will have three rightbacks who play regular football at premiership clubs. As for goal keepers, Alampasu is on the bench in his club this season, for sure Dele Aiyenugba should be given a chances as does the person benching Ezenwa at Eyimba Theophilus Afelokhai.

      And as we go forward, its time for Onazi, Joel, Ighalo and Nwankwo to make way for Ogu and Onyekuru to join the starting lineup and for Kelechi Nwakali, Orji Okonkwo (Bologna) and Bonaventure/Nwakaeme to press our leading line for a spot plus provide quality on the bench. Iheanacho needs to start watching his back too, because once those 4 are gone from the team, he will be the weakest link

      • Aphilly and I were merely making reference to Kayode in retrospect as we are both well aware that he is unavailable due to injury.

        Simmy, in your words, looks like a fish out water in the Super Eagles. Perhaps if Rohr gives him more water to swim in, then we would be able to appreciate how deep he can swim in National team waters.

        Onazi, Joel Obi, Ighalo and Nwankwo will remain key features of the national team so long as Rohr stays in charge. Personally I will appraise their performances match by match and if their continued invitation and performances lead to Rohr’s downfall, then I will look forward to the dawn of a new era under a coach that will hopefully chart a newer course for the Eagles.

        We this Coach, I’m afraid it’s going to be more of the same.

        • Correction xx With this Coach xx

        • Haymaker 3 years ago

          Mr deo. Just thought to say I agree with your take. It may be too late before Rohr realizes that his loyalty to certain weak links in the team is hurting his career with the SE. I feel it’s time NFF started auditing his invitation of players before he disappoints us again and then runs away to coach another African country.

          I like the way you are no longer hedging your bets with the eagles. In fact, you are pulling no punches:-) Abeg my apologies for critical comments during the world cup.

  • Please can someone ask Mr coach Rorh or whatever his name is how much igalo gives him when he is called up, why will an experienced coach leave a top striker in the pitch after 70 mints and no attempt on our opponents post, and you have two other attackers in the bench, if he does not trust the other attackers in the bench, why don’t he invite the ones he can trust.he should please show us the experience he has and learn when to make changes in a match….

  • Ayphillydegreat 3 years ago

    Omo9ja. Did you say Aina has no place in the SuperEagles?? You’re kidding right. I don’t have any issue with your assessment about GR. The consistent invitation of Ighalo begs questioning when indeed we have better strikers than him. Aina to me is Nigeria’s best right back at the moment. Infact after Balogun and Ekong, Aina should be the next name on the list of our top defenders in Europe. It’s not an easy feet to be commanding a regular shirt in the Scudetto.

    Defensively, the SuperEagles seems to be on the right track and I hope Kenneth Omeruo and Chidozie Awaziem start getting the necessary playing time to remain in contention. Semi Ajayi and Collins Jamilu are also really good prospects with various others coming through.

    I don’t think we lack creativity in the middle with Iwobi and General Mikel coming back. I want to see Nwakali elevated to the midfield ASAP. Our major problem is a proven goalscorer of which I believe an Olanrenwaju Kayode or even Isaac Success can provide that for the SuperEagles. Like deo said they may not score a lot of goals, but will chase lost cost, be nuisance and intimidate defenders with their all round display and fighting spirit. And that will open opportunities for the likes of Onyekuru, Musa, Kalu to pounce on any lose ball around the box.

    For me I think we’re in right direction and I believe the team is progressing. Only needs a few tweaks here and there and the SuperEagles will be great again.

    • lets talk about people who are fit and ready to play. Last month we were all talking about Akinyemi Adeleke, but since he moved to IK Start, has not scored like he was free scoring in Latvia. Thus Kayode, Kehinde and Success need to complete their rehabilitation with their clubs before being called up. Same way Moses Simon is being given time to get fit again. I’d expect them to be in contention for the match in November, certainly October will be too soon for them.

      Going forward I’d like to see a front three (with subs in brackets) of

      Moses Simon (Onyekuru), Musa (Nwakaeme), Kalu (Bonaventure). Between them they have pace in abundance, trickery, power and precision.

      Add a midfield of (left to right) John Ogu (Iwobi) Wilfred Ndidi (Uche Agbo) Etebo (Nwakali).

      There we have a strong line up and an equally strong bench

      • I share your ideal front 3 line up, except for a few tweaks in the subs. An SE killer first 11 should come in a 4-3-3 formation: 

        Simon Moses – Ahmed Musa- Samuel Kalu

        Kelechi Nwakali – Mikel Obi – Wilfred Ndidi

        Tyrone Ebuehi – Troost Ekong – Leon Balogun – Bryan Idowu

        Francis Uzoho/Afelokhai.

        Ighalo, Iheanacho, Onyekuru, Kayode, Simy

        Ogu, Onazi

        Ajayi, Aina, Abdullahi


        (I’m not a fan of Etebo. Always seems like a minus 1 when introduced. Yet to prove all the Nigerian fans hype at Stoke City).

        • **Forgot to add Alex Iwobi as first choice super sub for Musa. First choice ahead of Ighalo.

      • Haymaker 3 years ago

        BigD, please which Kehinde are you referring to?

  • Nicolsen 3 years ago

    Some peoples comments here surprises me at thier level of thinking. Cos people say crap here and filled with sentiments..

    Igalo no longer has any business in that team.

    Iheanacho shld play frm d bench.. the WC shld be a lesson.
    . Am shocked players like joel obi, igalo amd onazi still made it to tbat team.. (either mr rohr is collecting tip frm dz players or he doesnt know wat he is doing.

    SE are not to be feared anymore… our football sucks.. and its high time mr rohr has to be put under pressure.

    We are pamperibg tbis coach too much.

  • Hello everyone sorry 4my self imposed sabbatical occasioned by the deficiency in rohr’s tactics and also his antics in player selection. I’m only out to ask a question… WHAT HAS CYRIEL DESSERS DONE TO ROHR AND THE corrupt AGALI??? WAT ABT A PROVEN SE SCORER LIKE NIJA BALOTELLI? FINALLY I’d prefer to groom awoniyi, osimhen, and success with the time we are wasting in ighalo,musa yahaya can also come in to fight for v.moses shirt

  • Isaac 3 years ago

    SE first eleven


    Ebuehi (RB), Ekong (CB), Balogun (CB), Aina (LB).

    Ndidi (DM), Mikel (CM), Iwobi (AM).

    S.Moses/Onyekuru (RWF), Musa (CF), Kalu (LWF).

  • L why not have an Osigwe, Uzoho, and Alampasu

  • Prince 3 years ago

    Super Eagles best line up against Lybia … Hopefully barring no injuries!

    Super eagle should start to play the same formation used in the second halves in the friendlies against Argentina and England !!!
    (2-1-4-3) formation 

    When we attack – 2-3-2-3
    When we defend – 2-1-3-4

    Musa; Iheanacho
    Ebuehi; Wilfred; Mikel; Idowu
    Leon; Eze; Ekong

    Adi, , Onyekuru, Kalu, Simy, Simon
    Ogu, Etebo; Nwakali
    Ajayi, Aina, Abdullahi
    Afelokhai, Ezenwa