7 Takeaways From Super Eagles’ Win Over Argentina In ‎Russia

7 Takeaways From Super Eagles’ Win Over Argentina In ‎Russia

Following Super Eagles impressive showing in Tuesday’s friendly win against Argentina, Completesportsnigeria. com’s ADEBOYE AMOSU highlights seven major talking points from the game.
One of the major talking points of Nigeria’s successful World Cup qualifying campaign is the formidable partnership between Leon Balogun and William Troost-Ekong. The understanding between the central defenders was telepathic and they looked  impregnable.
The two were badly  exposed by the pacy  Zambian forwards in their penultimate qualifying fixture in Uyo and struggled against Algeria last Friday in Constantine.
Against world class trio, Sergio Aguero, Paulo Dybala and Angel Di Mario, they were thoroughly exposed again. Balogun in particular was awful in the game especially in the first half and it was not a surprise he was hauled off later in the encounter for Kenneth Omeruo who did well after his introduction.
Troost-Ekong recovered after the break to help ward off the threats of the Argentines but the big question now in the mind of the fans is can the once reliable duo still hold their own in the team.
Ahead of the game, young Deportivo La Coruna of Spain goalkeeper, Francis Uzoho, was rumoured to be the in the frame to make his first start for the three-time African champions but he had to make do with a place on the bench.
He however got his chance after the break and the former Golden Eaglets goal tender showed great composure beyond his age.
With Ezenwa’s shaky performance against Algeria and Akpeyi’s poor display in the first half against Argentina, then Uzoho might be in for more regular playing time ahead of the world cup.
Aside from the manner of the win and the performance of the players especially in the second half, head coach of the side, Gernot Rohr must  be pleased with the contributions of some of his fringe players in the game.
Brian Idowu came in at half time and scored the decisive third  goal. Tyrone Ebuehi who had been  waiting for a chance to show his quality was outstanding, while Chidozie Awaziem also did well.
Should they maintain this impressive form in subsequent games, then Rohr will be in for a big selection headache ahead of the World Cup finals.
The last time the Super Eagles played a 3-5-2 formation  was under Frenchman Philippe Trousier during the qualifiers for the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France. The team failed to adapt then  and the formation was abandoned.
Against Argentina, the players were lackadaisical in the first half as they struggled to hit top form. They however improved after the break and look well acquainted with the new formation.
One of the hallmarks of great and successful football teams is the options available to coaches in different departments of the team. Against Argentina, the Super Eagles were without key forwards, Victor Moses, Moses Simon and Odion Ighalo and yet they scored four superb goals against a side that parades some of the best players in the world.
Should the forwards hit top form at the world cup, they will be a tough nut to crack for many opposing defenders.
Despite their second half recovery, the defenders need to step up their game as they were badly exposed by the Argentines in the first half. Had the Albiceleste converted some of the chances they created in the first half, then the road to redemption may have been more difficult.
More so, they could be punished by a team with a better attacking prowess.
The captain of the team was rested in last Friday’s qualifying fixture against  Algeria and his presence, especially in the middle of the pack, was badly felt. Mikel showed his importance to the team with a commanding performance against Argentina. He is surely the undisputable leader of this team.
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  • good observations.God blees you! I said it befor, Balogun is a big suspect at the back. too slow and heavy some how. ekong is far far better than him. balogon needs to up him game oo,otherwise wahala d ooo.

    • nawa for peple oo so sunddenly Balogun is now heavy..he is suspect…this is someone who made the caf list as one of the best performers at the just concluded world cup qualifiers..

    • PapaFem 4 years ago

      @Mutum, I totally disagree with you on Balogun. He’s the most intelligent defender Nigeria has seen in ages. May be he didn’t play well in the last two matches, but that doesn’t make him a bad defender. He was awesome against Cameroon and Zambia. In fact, Ekong and this guy are one of the reasons we are going to Russia. He’s being struggling with fitness of late and that might be responsible for the below-par-performance. I just pray he overcomes these challenges because we really need him for the world cup.

    • charles emeka okwu 4 years ago

      Hmmm balogun is now baf for not playing well in 2 or 3 matches? Players do have their on and off days. Leon is the arrow head of the team’s defence. In my own analysis he was exposed because rohr didnt play him in a suitable position in defence. He would hv been deployed at the middle of defence while ekong moves to the right. Both ekong and balogun complements each other with their different style of play ie the former is a more robust and no nonsense defender but not too good with the ball of his feet while the latter is more of a ball playing defender who can easily drive the ball forward confidently. The team looks solid but i urge rohr to get atleast 2 more defenders who can up the competition for places. Hoffenheim’s kelvin akpoguma and wolfsburg’s uduokhai will be great additions. Awaziem impressed me so much last night.

    • Paschal 4 years ago

      Balogun has been playing with an injury to his leg and infact had a surgery on his cheek before d match against Algeria. He has been playing through the pain barrier. Its terribly unfair for anybody to describe him as poor or heavy. He remains about the very best defender we hve produced in this country in a very long while now. Please let us support him instead of doing this.

  • The OYINBO WALL of the Super Eagles are now 3—BALOGUN,EKONG and TYRONNE EBUEHI(RB)

  • It is not unusual for a player to be lacking something or has a dip in form but we saw was he is capable of and his talent when we played double header against Cameroon. Besides, he’s a ball-playing defender like john stone of Man city. Stone struggled last season in combining his movement with ball from back to the middle, he lost countless possessions and today, he’s currently one of the best defenders in EPL. comparing Ekong to him is still subjective coz in those aforementioned games, Ekong played with handbrake and later grew to the flow of the game. Can’t really chose between them. Balogun Is a ball playing defender while Ekong is a more of a sweeper, Omeruo is a bully. Ekong and Omeruo do not possess passing prowess of Balogun and Balogun does not have the power of Imeruo. They compliment one another. Thank God we have them,they will improve

  • This complete sport analyst nawa for u . must a player be playing 100%. everyday? If u complained cos Argentina scored 2 goals against us, what about 4 that will scored against them? u cud av said the guy did not av a good game but we all knew he just came back from injury n has not been involve in his club activities of recent, so he is short of match fitness unlike Eking

  • Tyrant Flex 4 years ago

    Do not be so quick to condemn. Balogun is great. It is impossible to b hundred percent always. Dont do dis to Rohr when he loses a match with da super birds. anyone who condemns him shall not b forgiven

  • ifeanyidavid 4 years ago

    minus balogun, if our opponents near our defence God help me make my heart no jump enter my belle