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Five Talking Points In Benin Vs Nigeria 2021 AFCON Qualifier

Five Talking Points In Benin Vs Nigeria 2021 AFCON Qualifier

Nigeria’s 1-0 victory over the Squirrels of Benin in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Porto-Novo may have sealed qualification for the team, however, there are some major highlights that made the game worthwhile.

Completesports Correspondent, Augustine Akhilomen highlights five major talking points of the game.

Denting Benin’s Unbeaten Home Record

The last time Benin lost at home was in 2013, against the Desert Foxes of Algeria in a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier. No doubt, it was an enviable record to boast of by the West Africans team before it was shattered by the Super Eagles of Nigeria in Saturday’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

It took a spirited Super Eagles to ensure that the record was broken with the last gasp winner by Paul Onuachu to seal Nigeria’s qualification to the bi-annual tournament in Cameroon.

Blackout At Super Eagles Training

Prior to Saturday’s victory, Benin thought the only way they could do to disorganize the Super Eagles training was by switching off the light at the Stadium. However, the three-time AFCON champions showed why they are determined and hungry to amend their ‘porous’ performance against Sierra Leone, as they trained without the floodlight switched on and still got the maximum point on matchday proper.

Rohr’s Line Up And Tactics Spot On

Many football pundits have often faulted Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr’s tactical and technical capability to truly bring out the best in the array of talents at his disposal. However, Saturday’s game saw the German tactician present a strong or ‘killer’ lineup that could defeat any team in the world. This was also well accompanied by an impressive tactical approach that saw the team pressed their opponent (Benin) so hard with the likes of Willian Troost-Ekong, Ola Aina, Zaidu Sanusi showing great attacking instinct and very productive with the ball.

Onuachu Becoming The Hero

Initially listed as a standby when the list of players was first released by Rohr despite his free-goal scoring form for Genk in the Belgian League. But injuries and withdrawal of some players gave him the chance to once again prove his mettle as he grabbed the solitary goal against Benin to end the host’s unbeaten home record.

Unuachu came on as a substitute for Kelechi Iheanacho in the 71st minute and instantly gave a good account of himself by showing his aerial strength with a powerful header that rocked the net of the Beninious. It was indeed a perfect way to say thank you to the coach for at least showing faith in him.

Iwuala, Super Eagles New Rising Star

The Enyimba star may have caught the eyes of many football fans with his impressive performance against Benin even though he could have done better with some quick or final pass to his fellow teammate in the 18-yard box. There was a point where Victor Osimhen yelled at him for not passing to him when he was in a goal-scoring position but Iwuala went for glory and failed to hit the back of the net.

The desperation to impress the national team handlers may have contributed to it but in all, he was a sensation that could be a future star for the Super Eagles if well integrated into the team.

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  • Patrator 3 years ago

    If only Rohr could borrow the tactical prowess of Thomas Tuchel of Chelsea, this current super eagles will rule the world. That said, I admire Troost Ekong passing ability in yesterday match and that of Balogun towards the end of the match. We need such passes and dangerous movement from all our players. The team must avoid too much of back passing and mount pressure on their opponent. Benin really parked the bus tho but nonetheless, our players must show more hunger to win games.

    Henry Onyekuru had a really nice game and I really do hope to see more of him in match day squad

  • walking 3 years ago

    There was little or no sparkle of critical passes from the midfield, which was as a result of Iwobi’s absence. Hence, it is expected we have a backup plan. Tactically, the formation and set of players on the starting line up was okay but still, we need a backup no. 10, Iwobi and one other person. Nacho can play a free role, coming from the midfield and supporting the main striker. Aribo, is still yet to impress.

    My line-up if we have all players available barring injuries or any other disappointment

    aina ekong balogun sanusi
    samu iwobi Henry
    Nacho Victor

    • Sammy 3 years ago

      This your line up will leave the defence exposed against better sides, and will be very prone to counter attacks against sides that sit deep. It’s a good line up when you’re chasing the game, not good for starting a match.

    • Jones 3 years ago

      bad formation

  • Sammy 3 years ago

    Great match. We need a left sides centre back to switch balls to the left, just like Ekong did (from left to right) yesterday.

  • Rohr is almost always spot on with his line up. That he played Akpoguma ahead of Ola Aina was because Aina was not in the kind of form he is currently in now. Aina has made a remarkable improvement, especially in the defensive aspect of his game. Thanks to his regular run of games at Fulham.

  • The lineup makes the midfield look so porous and open. a well coordinated team will tear it apart with goals. No, we need hard working modfielders in the middle, players who can pass the ball as well as stop opponents from getting into our danger area.
    I wish etebo was in form he could play that role along side ndidi, then we can look for another creative player to assist iwobi. I don’t think aribo is a bad player, I just feel he is being careful whenever he plays against African teams. We all see his performance for his club and when we plays against European and south American teams. He is a good player, he just needs to toughen up against African team’s. Iwobi had that problem when he first joined the Super Eagles but he has over come it. He now plays even better against African teams. So our area of concentration for the Super Eagles should be building up a formidable and balanced midfield that can stand any team in the world. And also look into our defence, Leon and ekong are good together but what happens when one is injured or loses form. We need quality defenders that can do the job any day any time against any team in the world.
    Im not too confident with the trio of awaziem, semi and omerua. The other department look ok but ofcourse if an unknown player begins to do well in a big league such a player can not be overlooked.

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