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6 Takeaways From Super Eagles ‘ Win Against South Africa

6 Takeaways From Super Eagles ‘ Win Against South Africa

Completesports.com’s ADEBOYE AMOSU who was there live at the Cairo International Stadium on Wednesday July 10, highlights six key remarkable things learnt from the Super Eagles’ 2-1 win against the Bafana Bafana of South Africa in an AFCON 2019 quarterfinal match…


Rohr Gets One Over Baxter For The First Time

Before the AFCON 2019 quarterfinal game, Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr had never enjoyed a win against his South African counterpart, Stuart Baxter, but he got his first victory after 90 minutes at the Cairo International Stadium .

The Bafana Bafana defeated Nigeria 2-0 in the first meeting between both teams in Rohr’s time as Super Eagles coach. The second game ended in a 1-1 draw.

Not only did Nigeria defeat South Africa in the Cairo game, Rohr also outfoxed Baxter on the touchline. The Super Eagles, for the better part of the game, nullified the threats of the South Africans who never really troubled the Nigerian defence.

Chukwueze Proves Again To Be Great Prospect For Eagles’ Future

There has been clamour from fans and journalists for the Villarreal winger to be included in the starting lineup after he was dropped to the bench following Nigeria’s opening game against the Swallows of Burundi, but Gernot Rohr earlier refused to yield to those calls. Rohr consistently maintained that he preferred Moses Simon to Chukwueze because of his defensive ability.

The German however budged and unleashed Chukwueze on the South Africans on Wednesday July 10, and the Villarreal winger rewarded him with a goal and man of the match performance.


Nigeria’s Odion Ighalo tussles with South Africa’s Thulani Hlatshwayo and Buhle Mkhwanazi

Super Eagles Nearly Paid For Missed chances

On the basis of the foothold, Eagles had the game in the first half. The Super Eagles should have put the game to bed before the break. Their lack of potency upfront nearly cost them the game, but for William Troost-Ekong 89th minute winner which came at a time when the South Africans were looking dangerous in the game.


Etebo Turns Into Terrific Defensive Midfielder

For those who know Oghenekaro Etebo very well during his days with local club Warri Wolves, they must have been surprise to see the Stoke City man thrive in a defensive midfield role. Etebo in all his time at Warri Wolves played in attacking position (second striker or attacking midfielder).

His transition into a defensive midfield position, where he now plays for both club and country has been quite remarkable.

Etebo and Leicester City midfielder Wilfred Ndidi helped to nullify the threat of the South Africans in the midfield and provided a screen in front of the defence.

He came close to getting a goal in the second half when his freekick veered off the wall of defence and enabling Ronwen Williams to fingertip it unto the cross bar. A goal from this brilliant effort could have been the icing on the cake for him.

Awaziem Fast Making Right-Back Position His Own

Though a natural centre-back, injury to Shehu Abdullahi forced Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr to play Chidozie Awaziem at the right-back position in Nigeria’s first game against Burundi.

Game by game, he has continued to grow in confidence, and his performance against South Africa in Cairo was his best in the competition so far.

Not only did Awaziem defend well, he also was always willing to support the attack. On the basis of what he has offered so far in this competition, it is difficult to see Abdullahi displacing him any time soon.


Ahmed Musa vs Bafana’s Thamsanqa Mkhize

Musa Needs To Improve On His Delivery

The Al Nassr of Saudi Arabia winger, Ahmed Musa, was a constant threat to the South Africans before his substitution in the game. Musa troubled Thamsanga Mkhize on the right for most of the game, but the quality of his delivery was nothing to write home about. He will need to work on that in subsequent games especially at this crucial stage of the competition.

Photos: by Ganiyu Yusuf in Cairo

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  • Frank 2 years ago

    You didn’t care to mention about ighalo positioning,determination and instinct In the box,he lacks that hungry TOP 9 which Africans strikers are known for

  • musa was the biggest threat in that game, but his crosses were childish… algeria defenders need to use two power bikes to nollify his thunderous pace… chukwueze good but too much inexperienced.

    • Just watching the highlight of the game again. Iwobi was free for a tap in when Chukwueze brilliantly dribbled into SA 18 yard. Very skilled lad, but he must know when to release the ball and stop taking out an opponent. But he’ll grow. Rohr needs to also use another prodigiously talented dude in this tournament more, Samuel Kalu.

  • Oakfield 2 years ago

    Good analysis but we must not forget the contributions of Alex iwobi. That guy was outstanding in our match against south Africa, surprised that nobody talks about him like they’ve done for his counterparts on the night. Pls, let’s acknowledge him, he deserves it. He brought in creativity in the game, opening up spaces in the final third with his dribbling skills and delivering killer passes to our strikers. I see us lifting this cup not bcs I am a Nigerian but bcs we have what it takes to achieve that feat again. Keep this squad together for a long time and we’ll be a force to reckon with in the world. Next world cup would really be great with this wonderful team of talented players. Never in the history of Nigerian football have we had such a talented team like this where The bench is as good and fearsome as the first team, oh my!

  • IWOBI NA KING NA… you hv to know that without iwobi we re not going to any match… IWOBI THE CHIEF CREATOR AND KING OF SKILL AND DRIBBLER.. iwobi deminish his dribbles because he carry team mate along unlike eze who dont care… but i love iwobi and eze interchange play pattern.. only ighalo was like “mark zion” he never move to left or right in search of passes and allow flanker to come into that attack…

  • Well, the victory is won but more work needs to be done to turn this team into a truly “A” Grade team in the global stage.

    These are my observations:

    Awaziem: he has deputized really well but he is not an “A” grade right fullback.
    He doesn’t have the first touch and could still be overly physical in his tackles which can work well in Africa but will come short in the global stage.

    Ndidi and Etebo: fantastically combative defensive midfielders who are more destructive but less creative.
    Imagination and inventiveness are still lacking in that area.

    Iwobi: he is fast improving as an attacking midfielder but consistency continues to be a worry.

    Musa, Simon and Chukwueze: they are all doing very well but decision making in lets them down severally.

    Musa- end product has been below par.
    Simon- he plays into himself a lot and can be predictable.
    Chukwueze- in time, he will get to understand the importance of give-and-goes and releasing balls early

    Ighalo: one of the worst things in the world is to play as a lone striker. Owing to Ighalo’s recent goals-to-games ratio, one has to conclude that he has mastered this art to perfection.

    Henry and Oshimen: it will be a shame to go through this tournament without seeing what those 2 have to offer.

    Akpeyi: his ball distribution is exquisite. His saves against Burundi are noteworthy.
    But his jittery nature would sadly be his most enduring legacy as a Super Eagles number one in a major tournament.