6 Talking Points From Super Eagles Defeat To CAR In Lagos

6 Talking Points From Super Eagles Defeat To CAR In Lagos

For the first time in a long while, the Super Eagles under Gernot Rohr left Nigeria fans shocked as they lost 1-0 to underdogs, Central Africa Republic (CAR) in their third Group C match of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers. It was obviously a night to forget for the Gernot Rohr’s team.

Completesports.com‘s Augustine Akhilomen highlights some of the major talking points from the game.

Lack of Creativity In Midfield Cost Nigeria The Match

There is no doubt that the main missing link in the Super Eagles’ 1-0 shocking loss to Central African Republic was the lack of a creative midfielder who could hold the ball and and link up the attackers to trouble the visitor’s stubborn defence.

It was obvious that CAR came with an approach to defend, however, Nigeria’s inability to find those killer passes to Victor Osimhen and Taiwo Awoniyi contributed to the team’s downfall. Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr now faces the test of discovering a natural creative midfielder in the mould of Austine JJ Okocha.

Troost-Ekong, Balogun Poor Communication

The ‘oyinbo wall’ as they are fondly called by the Nigerian fans were kept busy by CAR as they made several interceptions to deny CAR goal scoring chances. However, they failed to last the distance, and when it mattered most their poor communication allowed the visitors to dispossess of the ball and calmly slotted it past goalkeeper Francis Uzoho for a famous victory over Nigeria.

Too Early To Condemn The Super Eagles

Despite losing 1-0 to CAR at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, it will be too early to start casting stones on the players for the defeat. Instead, this should serve as a wakeup call for not only the players, but also the technical crew of the team – that big names don’t always matter in football.

Poor Sportsmanship Of Super Eagles Players

In football, you win some and you lose some. Regardless of the outcome, players express some level of love to their opponent either by way of handshakes or exchange of jerseys. The Super Eagles, failed to show spirit of sportsmanship after they lost to CAR and ignored some of the CAR players who approached them for handshakes.

Ejuke Brilliant in Eagles’ Defeat

Another brilliant display from Chidera Ejuke who was making his second appearance under Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr. His vision and ability to take on his opponents often kept the CAR defenders aback. His attacking threat created so much nightmare for the CAR defenders. No doubt, Ejuke has won his way into Rohr’s heart.

Ola Aina – Holding Grip Of Right-back Role

The Torino star has taken his game to a different level as he piloted the Super Eagles attack from the right-back with good overlapping that caused CAR some trouble.

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  • Gowetok 3 years ago

    I have said time and time again that Iwobi is the S.E chief lubricant .His sleek passing was badly missed. He is always in the build up behind most goals scored by SE. It’s very unfortunate that short sighted individuals like Victor Ikpeba will go to the media to criticize him for lacking enough creativity. As far as modern creativity in football is concern it’s not about dribbling unnecessarily like Okocha use to do but sleek passing . Iwobi has it in him naturally. I’m very convinced the result would have been different if Iwobi had played. The task before Mr Rohr now is the discover a deputy for Iwobi so that whenever he is injured , there will someone to do the Job.

  • pompei 3 years ago

    I’m not so sure about the team NEEDING a midfielder like Okocha.
    Granted, if we found another Okocha, we would jump on him immediately.
    But judging from what happened in the game yesterday, WE CREATED CHANCES. SEVERAL CHANCES.
    The game was lost partly because our strikers were wasteful and/or unfortunate in front of goal. Several times, Osimhen, Iheanacho and later Awoniyi came close to scoring, and other times, they just fluffed their lines embarrassingly.
    If they had converted just 2 of the numerous chances that came their way, nobody will be lamenting that we need a Jay Jay today.
    Let’s talk about 2 of the numerous chances.
    After a mazy run in the midfield, Ejuke released Osimhen with a pass. Osimhen audaciously chipped the CAR goalie with his left foot, and ever so unfortunately, the ball hit the upright and came back into play. In the ensuing melee in the CAR box, Awoniyi had the opportunity to slot home, but he was denied by a CAR defender standing in front of the gaping net!
    Another opportunity. Aina, after some good work on the right, put in a cross into the CAR box. Osimhen met the ball unchallenged and nodded it marginally wide. Any other day, Osimhen will have nodded that ball into the net, even with his eyes closed.
    There were several other chances. If we had converted a good number of them, we could easily have scored 3 or 4 goals.
    So, yes, a creative midfielder is a good thing to have. But yesterday, we didn’t NEED one. What we NEEDED was CLINICAL FINISHING.
    If our strikers had done their jobs, nobody will be talking about the need for a creative midfielder today. Nobody will be talking about the Oyibo wall today.
    Yes, those were factors in the defeat yesterday. But the biggest factor was the failure of our strikers to convert chances.
    Our strikers left their scoring boots at Eko hotel yesterday. They should remember to bring them along to the make-or-mar return leg in Douala on Sunday.

    • Ajasco 3 years ago

      Wow kudos to you sir @pompei. That’s what actually happened during the match there where chances created but non taken. Kudos

    • Absolutely Pompei. We didn’t lose because of lack of creativity from the midfield. Rather the Super Eagles were unlucky on the day as their plans were either thwarted by the disciplined CAR defence or their manoeuvres just did not result in a goal.

      The Super Eagles are creating chances but “worryingly” they are becoming too unpredictable. Rohr needs to go back to the drawing board and cook up schemes that will catch our opponents unaware.

      But in all, they did create chances and hopefully they can create chances that are more carefully conceived and expertly delivered next time!

      Freak results happen in football all the time. I don’t think we should be too hard on ourselves for outcome. It is painful and unacceptable – I agree.

      But we need to look to the future with hope and optimism that the NFF would one day get its act together!

    • Thanks for this objective analysis Pompei

    • @pompei you are a genius. Still waiting for Dr Drey’s analysis on this match. I said it that oshimen should be caned. Iheanacho gave him to a ball in the first half and he impatiently balloned the ball into the sky.

      He made us lose the match with his carelessness. I hope he makes up in the next match.

    • Florence 3 years ago

      You have said it all, Kudos.

  • Highstar 3 years ago

    Leon balogun was poor yesterday

    • Bomboy 3 years ago

      The Eagles will be super in the return leg. Amen.

    • Balogun actually played well offensively yesterday. He helped move the ball towards enemy territory with long balls or on the grass. He was energetic and business-like in his approach in this game.

      Unfortunately he was found wanting in his defensive duties and was punished for it mercilessly.

      I think Rohr should work on our defensive drills. The CAR strikers were able to put Balogun and Ekong under pressure even before the goal was scored: they scored in the first half which was disallowed and they almost scored early in the second half before Uzoho’s masterclass double saves.

      The way our defence is arranged, their shape and how they communicate should be addressed (regardless of the players manning the defence).

      What happened with Balogun could so easily have happened to any other center defender.

  • Mr Hush 3 years ago

    Is it me or does it feels like anytime Ndidi is missing, we seem so lackasaidical defensive side. There is no shield. Especially against so called minnows.
    Sierra Leone,Madagascar come to mind.
    As for now, the coach could simply be tactical and change formation. We could play the Tuchel’s Chelsea formation. It could be decisive.

    It is now clear most owe Iwobi an apology. We can now see how vital he is to this team.

    I suggested in an early write up that Iwobi needs support. The coach should thrust Ejuke into that role and trust he is ability to produce. I know he can. We just need to mold him to that.
    I hold Aribo to high esteem but to be candid,he hasn’t been productive,especially against African side. So can’t trust him in that role.
    Hopefully,we get an Ejaria, Lookman or even Olise. We simply need such calibre to unlock teams that would play the block and sit deep defensively; if we don’t, we would continue to be shocked by not so fancy teams.

    And as @Pompei stated; our strikers let us down yesterday. Osimhen,Awoniyi,Iheanacho…

    Here is for bouncing back on Sunday.

    • Footballfanatic 3 years ago

      3-5-2 for the return leg. Rohr must choke that midfield


      Awaziem Ekong Akpogunma

      Aina Bassey/Collins


      Samuel Kalu. EJIKE


      Can’t afford a loss. Worse case better park the bus than double loss lol. I’m optimistic they will perform better on sunday.

    • I agree Ejike should be tried in number 10 role, it may not be long we will see another 0kocha.let Rohr try him especially when the Villarreal man comes back

    • Mr Hush,

      Personally, I don’t think we particularly missed any player yesterday. On a good day, the Super Eagles Homebased team that lost to Mexico recently should be able to defeat this CAR team even if it is by the narrowest of margins.

      Yesterday, the Super Eagles were predictable and the moves they strung together to score goals either were effectively nullified or just did not work as it should.

      Drilling and injection of fresh ideas are what is needed. The Super Eagles haven’t been particularly playing like a well oiled, well drilled side recently even when they get results. They are creating bucket load of chances but this are either predictable or not neatly fine-tuned to get more goals.

      It’s not so much about this player or that player but what you do with the players at your disposal is what matters.

      The Super Eagles were unlucky and unfortunate yesterday but you also have to give kudos to the CAR team who had a game plan and executed it mercilessly.

      But I praise the Super Eagles for endeavour. The players were professional and did come across as determined to get the desired results. But it was not to be.

      Hopefully they can get it right on Sunday.

  • @ Gowetok you are definitely correct Iwobi is the one that makes our attack tick. Whenever he plays well the SE attacks is really slick and fluid. Brings to mind the first 30mins where they ran riot on Sierra Leone and the friendly against Ukraine where they played some really good attacking football. SE needs someone mobile and creative like Iwobi to take over when he is tired or unavailable. Also forgot which game it was where they singled him out for a fake coronavirus test. If you notice most of our opponents coaches usually talk about stopping Iwobi and Oshimen.

    So basically the SE needs a good Iwobi sub a good Ndidi sub and a good central defense sub. I think the right back and left back positions can be easily fixed with ppl like Ebuehi also a contender when fit. Goal keeping needs to be more competitive and sorted out. SE is about 60% – 70% there in terms of players then next thing that needs serious work and study for best outcomes is the tactics/formation and team selection. Also the SE has the players to play a fluid, mobile attack. I would prefer something similar to the old Dutch system but with more directness, pressing and sense of urgency in both winning the ball and initiating attacks.

    With Chuckwueze, Iwobi, Kalu/Ejuke, versatility in playing on both wings and centrally coupled with Oshimens mobility and hold up play if I was coach Rohr I will come up with a very mobile, fluid system where they switch positions during play. have wingers, AM switching around and Oshimen involved in the build up play sometimes too or played closer upfield to exploit a high defensive line.

    If I was coach today and whenever these players are available also if Coach Rohr ever picks this formation and team I’m about to list below with a fluid, mobile, high energy, pressing and attacking system is the day we see the best of SE and put the world on notice. You heard/saw it here first if this ever happens. My team is below. In some positions I still don’t know or haven’t decided yet who is better or will blend better with others but that is what training and friendly matches are for

    Uzoho/Maduka/New good GK

    Aina/Ebuehi. Ekong. Balogun. Sanusi/Bassey

    Ndidi. Aribo

    Chuckwueze. Iwobi. Kalu/Ejuke


    4-2-3-1. With Aribo a bit staggered upwards. So he will be mostly in that space between the DM and AM. His task will be to assist Ndidi when the pressure is heavy or DM needs cover but also help bring Iwobi and the wingers into play. With his experience playing AM at Rangers you will have almost two AMs and one solid DM. Fast wingers and a dangerous all round striker in Oshimen. This I believe is the tactics/ team/ vision to make this team a force to be reckoned with in the soccer world and hopefully win trophies. Just my humble two cents. And yea pay the coaches and the players will help boost morale. Sometimes it’s not about the amount as some make good money playing for their clubs and endorsements but the principle of not paying ppl doing work for you.

  • GLORY 3 years ago

    Brother leave them, people wey get eye to see no go Yan dust like Ikpeba drum. Dem think say attacking midfielder of yester years is the same as today reason dem fail to see say na Iwobi be thread wey hold this dress called SE together. Take that thread off the dress and dress kukuma fall yakata, even Oyibo machine need that thread without which dem no fit make cloth into wrapper talkless of a dress. Iwobi’s type of attacking midfield play is kinda similar to one time Columbia genius, Carlos Vaderama. These type of attacking midfielders strength lies in their quick passing game to bring team mates into play as well as that innate ability of running into space to receive passes, to help team mates out of tight places. We see from miles what many even those on that bench as assistants to Rohr will never see. I hate to criticize or compare players because I just don’t like hurting people’s confidence, so would have loved to speak to coach Rohr personally or any of his close confidant about certain things I strongly believe will turn this team to a super team. Anyway about 5 players that played yesterday are club super stars; not national team materials; Aribo will be at his maximum playing where Simon played yesterday; Uzoho did well and should carry on going forward; defence need quick footed players, get a reliable deputy for Iwobi asap, Ejaria, the closest around. Please I know many may not understand this but it’s always been the case, club football performance never always directly translate to same performance at national team level. I have been a huge proponent of this mystery, as there was a time a Zamalek Amunike’s productivity for the national team relegated a whole prince of Monaco to the bench. SO FOR THIS REASON, I AM BEGGING OGA ROHR TO PLEASE GET NWAKALI, EVEN IF JUST TO PROVE A POINT OR ACCEPT OUR VIEW. A MIDFIELD COMBO OF NWAKALI, IWOBI/EJARIA AND NDIDI WILL DO A FAR DECENT JOB THAN ANY OF THOSE PRETENDERS ARE OFFERING TODAY. I WILL OPENLY APOLOGIZE IF THAT FAILS TO HAPPEN WHEN TRIED. ALSO ROHR MUST NOT UNESTIMATE THE POWER OF PROFFESSIONALISM, OTHERWISE MORE CONFUSION N SHOCK ARE ON THEIR WAY. HE MUST RID OFF THIS TEAM UNPRODUCTIVE PLAYER NOT MINDING WHOSE HORSE IS GORED. A WORD IS ENOUGH FOR THE WISE BUT THEN MANY WORDS OF ADVICE IGNORED ONLY OOZES A SENSE OF FOOLISH/DEATHLY ARROGANCE.

  • I believe rohr has done his best for this team. He is an old man and a German, he won’t change his style. This present team needs a coach who is flexible. I always believe dutch coaches will do a better job for Nigeria. Rohr has tried but he can’t do more than this. We may end qualifying but when it matteredw mist we will crumble because the coach is not flexible enough.

    If ejaria is free to play get him. Bring in nwkalali and nwobodo to see what they can bring. What happened to that Kingsley Michael boy. He did a good job in cape Verde.

    Bonkhe and Abdullah can come in on Sunday. Frank onyeka and aribo should step aside.

    After the first two games aribo has not been too good for us. Maybe the position he plays is the problem. Then coach should bench him and let him come in the second half. He is also struggling against African teams.

    Abdullai ans bnkhe should come in on Sunday. They can hold their own against African players. I once mentioned the fact that saka will struggle in Africa at least in the first few years if he had played for us. The reason why I never regret him not playing for us. Even balogun is still adjusting.

    I hope we win on Sunday. But if we have to win, bonkhe abdullai should come to that midfield and awaziem should start in the defense with ekong.

  • Bye now our national coach should have been sacked.

  • By now our national coach should have been sacked. All the official involved, including the NFF chairman or president.

  • Coache 3 years ago

    Those CAR guys were playing in 4th division in European leagues or localkt based. Ejuke should be the teams play maker not winger. In the second half when he went to the middle, the difference was too clear. Iwobi was there when Leone stars drew and Ndidi so shut up there claiming their absence was felt.

    Leone stars draw exposed the Super Ducks. The team normally collapse towards the end of the game and mist coaches have spotted that Observe what will happen in the second leg, towards the end of the match. Cape Verde almost equalised in the dying minutes.

    A coach that cannot coach Enyimba is our Super Ducks coach. A coach that starts every game with 4 2 3 1, is not a coach. No tactical variation, doesn’t give the opposing coach reason to have sleepless nights trying to decipher his tactical higi haga. A miasma of a coach and he will talk down on our players that they are not playing in big teams. Yet CAR came to beat us in Lagos, Ghana, CIV, Tunisia,Algeria could never try that in the days of yore. You people are playing in Lagos, please don’t endanger the lives of our players oooo. Lagos is not Cross Rivers ooo. Lagos fans are dangerous oooo.

  • Ikechi 3 years ago

    The lad can dribble for Africaa. Ejuke the man of the match.

  • ABUHANIFA 3 years ago

    Some of the super eagle players are not regular players in their respective teams.

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