Following Nigeria’s impressive 3-1 win against Sudan In an AFCON 2021 Group D clash at the Roumde Adija Stadium, Garoua on Saturday, Completesports.com‘s ADEBOYE AMOSU, highlights six remarkable observations from the match.
Simon Proved His Class Once Again
.Nantes of France winger, Moses Simon, is no doubt enjoying a new lease of life under Nigeria interim head coach, Austine Eguavoen. He was one of the players who underperformed during the reign of former head coach, Gernot Rohr, but is now reborned under the new manager and lighting up AFCON 2021 with his heroics.
The 25-year-old put up an exceptional performance in Super Eagles’ win against Egypt on Tuesday and was also unlucky not to scoop the man of the match honour.
He followed up that up with another superb showing against Sudan on Saturday, setting up Samuel Chukwueze for Nigeria’s opening game and scoring the third goal on the night. He deservedly won the Man-of-The-Match award.
Omeruo, Troost-Ekong Partnership Getting Stronger
Glasgow Rangers defender Leon Balogun’s unavailability as result of injury has offered Kenneth Omeruo a big chance to stake claim for a regular playing berth in the Super Eagles and the Leganes man has grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
Omeruo and vice-captain William Troost- Ekong looked solid together in central defence for the second consecutive game at the ongoing AFCON 2021. They showed good understanding which in the long run will rub off positively on the team as the tournament progresses.
Eagles’ Strikers Need To Step Up
Taiwo Awoniyi and Umar Sadiq were expected to shoulder the goal-scoring responsibilities for the Super Eagles at the AFCON2021 finals in Cameroon following the absence of Victor Osimhen and Odion Ighalo, but both have failed to lived to up expectations so far in this competition.
Awoniyi was handed a starting berth for the second consecutive game against Sudan and even though the Union Berlin striker was on target against the Falcons of Jediane, he didn’t make too much impact.
His replacement, Umar Sadiq was criticised by head coach Austine Eguavoen after the game for failing to carry out his instruction on the pitch.
Nwakali Yet To Justify His Inclusion
Much was expected from Kelechi Nwakali after his surprise inclusion in Nigeria’s squad for the competition, but ardent followers of the Super Eagles are still waiting to the SD Huesca midfielder show that he belongs to this level after he shone for the U-17s and U-20s.
The midfielder was handed a cameo role against Egypt, but had more minutes to show what he can do against Sudan, but he didn’t do enough to convince the technical crew and fans he is ready for the big stage.
Okoye Truly Ready For The Big Stage
Former Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr got a lot of sticks for making Maduka Okoye the team’s first choice goalkeeper ahead of the likes of Daniel Akpeyi, Francis Uzoho and Ikechukwu Ezenwa. The young goalie has however proved he is equal to the task with his calm demeanour in the ongojng AFCON 2021.
Okoye, who is playing in his first major tournament for Nigeria, has looked unruffled in goal and he stood guard with the same traits against the Sudanese.
Wing- Play Is The Potent ‘Nigerian Football’
The Super Eagles thrived with fast and intelligent wingers during their most successful era, and the current interim head coach, Austine Eguavoen, seems to have brought the philosophy and practicality back into the team at AFCON 2021. Like in the previous game against Egypt, the wingers were up and doing again Sudan and that contributed to their successful outing.
While Moses Simon tormented the Falcons of Jediane on the left-wing, Samuel Chukwueze was a thorn in their flesh on the right.