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Amuneke: Super Eagles Must Improve Or Risk Early World Cup Exit

Amuneke: Super Eagles Must Improve Or Risk Early World Cup Exit

By Johnny Edward:

Former Super Eagles winger Emmanuel Amuneke has warned that the team risk crashing out of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in the group stages if they do not improve on their performances before their opening game against Croatia, reports Completesportsnigeria.com.


The Super Eagles suffered a 1-0 defeat to Czech Republic on Wednesday in their final pre-World Cup game in Austria.

Tomas Kalas tapped in a rebound in the 25th minute from close range to hand Nigeria their third defeat in five games leading to the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which kicks off Thursday next week in Russia.

Zenith Ziva

“It was not a good game, we must be honest with ourselves but there’s room for improvement,” the former African Footballer of the Year told CSN.

“The team still needs more intensive sessions before the Croatia game. These games have shown that there are several lapses in the team generally that they must work on before Nigeria’s first game.

“We could still correct them as we have 10 more days to our first game against Croatia.

“They (Nigeria) changed formations in the second half which was good, the players are trying to understand the philosophy of the coach but their reaction to the second balls was slow and they were are not quick enough when challenging the Czech players.”

He also expressed his displeasure on the team’s set-piece defending.

“The defenders didn’t show more awareness and aggression in dealing with set pieces. They must be winning all the second balls,” Amuneke, who coached the Golden Eaglets to win the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2015, added.

Nigeria will face Croatia, Iceland and Argentina in Group D at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

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  • PapaFem 3 years ago

    Genot Rohr shouldn’t be too rigid with his selections and choice of tactical formations. In the last four matches, there is no justification for starting Shehu ahead of Ebuehi; playing Iwobi from wings when he could be more effective from central midfield; reserving our best formation for second half; making Idowu feel he owns the number position and so on. Must we conceed a goal before we react? I’m beginning to feel some positions in that team isn’t competitive enough. Moses hasn’t contributed anything meaningful since the match against England. Same goes for Iheanacho and the likes of Onazi. We don’t have much time left. Something must be done before the WC.