Following the Home-based Super Eagles’ first Group C game against Rwanda at the ongoing 2018 African Nations Championship which ended in a barren draw, Completesportsnigeria. com’sADEBOYE AMOSU highlights five talking points from the encounter…
1. Failure To Take Scoring Chances
Salisu Yusuf’s men took charge of the game right from the first minute, but unfortunately, couldn’t convert the plethora of chances they created. Sunday Faleye set the bal rolling when his header from a superb Emeka Ogbubh cross hit the upright in the eight minute.
Rabiu Ali, Stephen Eze and substitute Ibrahim Mustapha all have good chances in the game but were unfortunate not register a goal in the game.
2. Stephen Eze’s Perfect Response To Recent Criticism
Towering centre-back Stephen Eze, looked revitalized after he was dropped for Timothy Danladi in recent test games due to loss of form. But against the Amavubi, he was unarguably the Home Eagles’ best performer as he combined his defensive task dutifully and also surged forward to help the attack.
The Kano Pillars defender also came close to scoring in the first half but his header from a good position sailed over the bar.
3. Ifeanyi Ifeanyi, Rabiu Ali Combo Not WORKING
Midfield duo, Ifeanyi Ifeanyi and Rabiu Ali, struggled to assert their authority in the game. Ifeanyi was replaced by Augustine Oladapo, while coach Salisu Yusuf kept faith with Ali and left him on the pitch for the entire duration of the game.
The Home Eagles best game in the Nigeria Professional Football League invitational tournament was against Enyimba when Salisu paired the duo of Oladapo and Sunshine Stars’ Dayo Ojo in midfield.
It was also evident that the team missed the industry of Afeez Aremu who was ineligible to play for the team after moving abroad and whether or no the coach will be bold enough to ring changes particularly in the midfield in the next game against Libya remains an issue of conjecture.
4. Okpotu Needs To Get His Scoring Boots On
Undoubtedly a proven goal scorer going by his antecedents and goal haul for Lobi Stars over the years in the Nigeria Professional Football League, but Okpotu was below par against the Rwandans. His positioning and hold up play were abysmal and he seemed short of confidence.
It’s difficult to comprehend the head coach dropping him in the next game against Libya on Thursday, but the Panther as he is called by his admirers, must rediscover his old form.
5. Sunday Faleye Proved His Fine Quality Once Again
Young forward, Sunday Faleye, was one of the shinning lights for the Home Eagles in the game. The Shooting Stars player was unlucky not to have converted the two chances that came his way in the game. He also troubled the Rwandans with pace and trickery on the ball.