Following the Super Eagles’ 3-1 win against the Pirates of Seychelles in a 2019 AFCON qualifying match at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba on Friday, Completesports.com’s ADEBOYE AMOSU highlights seven key things learnt from the encounter.
1. Collins Won Many Hearts Again
A lot of eyebrows were raised when Jamilu Collins was first called up to the Super Eagles for the game against Seychelles last year.
Collins who plays for German Bundesliga 2 side, SC Paderborn was an unknown figure and many never regarded him as a player worthy of wearing the green and white colour of Nigeria.
But game after game, the Kaduna- born defender has continued to show he could actually make the left-back position his own. Collins put up a fine performance against Seychelles on Friday.
He made wonderful runs upfront and delivered an inch perfect cross for Henry Onyekuru to score the Super Eagles second goal. The defender also contributed to the third goal scored by substitute Moses Simon.
2. Uzoho Yet To Show Readiness To Be Eagles Number One Goalie
Despite a promising debut for the Super Eagles in a friendly game against Argentina in a pre-World Cup friendly in 2017, Francis Uzoho is still yet to convince many he is the ideal replacement for Carl Ikeme.
He committed a terrible howler for Seychelles’ only goal of the game and has already got a lot of sticks for that.
The young goalkeeper will surely be put under scrutiny in the months leading to the AFCON finals in Egypt.
3. Iwobi Needs To Step Up And Be More Consistent
Alex Iwobi remain one of the most talented players in the current Super Eagles side, but he needs to show more consistency. That has also been his bane at the club level where he has struggled to win over most Arsenal fans after breaking into the first team setup.
Deployed in the number 10 role against Seychelles, Iwobi struggled to affect the game positively and was a shadow of himself before his substitution in the second half.
4. Gernot Rohr Showed His Ruthless Side Again
After axing the duo of Kelechi Iheanacho and Bryan Idowu from the list of invited players for the game due to their inactivity at club level, Rohr went further by dropping Leon Balogun who has made just eight league appearances for Brighton & Hove Albion in the English Premier League for Kenneth Omeruo in the starting line-up against Seychelles.
Omeruo who has enjoyed a fine season with Spanish side Leganes where he is on loan from Chelsea proved the gaffer’s right with a superb performance.
5. Super Eagles’ Huge Talent Depth
Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr will surely have a big headache picking his final AFCON squad especially in the offensive area. With Samuel Kalu not available for selection due to injury and Samuel Chukwueze excused to play for the U-23 team, the duo of Henry Onyekuru and Moses Simon stepped up to show their readiness to stake claim for a starting role in the team.
Onyekuru scored his debut goal for the Super Eagles with a brilliant header, while Simon who came in as a late substitute for the injured Odion Ighalo also netted a sublime goal.
6. Ndidi Proved He Can Be The Keyman In Super Eagles’ Midfield
The Leicester City man put up arguably his best performance in the green and white colour of Nigeria against Seychelles. He directed proceedings in the middle of the park and was Nigeria’s top performer in the game.
7. Super Eagles struggled On Keshi Stadium Pitch Again
Rohr has complained about the playing surface and size and of the Stephen Keshi Stadium, and his players struggled on the pitch once again on Friday. It remainsbto be seen if they will still play more games there after Tuesday’s friendly against Egypt.