HITS & MISSES: Super Eagles Stars, Flops From Friendlies Vs Poland, Serbia

HITS & MISSES: Super Eagles Stars, Flops From Friendlies Vs Poland, Serbia

The Super Eagles of Nigeria played two top international friendlies against Poland and Serbia, and there were lots of takeaways. Completesportsnigeria.com’s JOHNNY EDWARD presents the players who flopped and those who performed well in both games…




Alex Iwobi’s performance for the Super Eagles in the two games against Poland and Serbia was abysmal by his standards. Iwobi was expected to create problems for the aging Serbia full back Alexandre Kolarov but failed to re-enact his mesmerizing form for Gernot Rohr’s side who suffered their first defeat in a friendly under their German tactician.

Zenith Ziva


By his standards, Odion Ighalo was below par for the Super Eagles in the two encounters against Poland and Serbia after he could manage only two shots at goal in 135 minutes of action. They came in the second game against Serbia. Though he lacked the needed support and supplies, when he got the balls he failed to make judicious use of it by neither holding up play to bring his teammates into the game or to trouble the defence line he faced with his off the ball runs.


Since he lost his place in the starting lineup for the Super Eagles, Musa got a rare chance to justify Gernot Rohr’s faith in him that he still possess the quality to be in the squad but he flopped. The 25 year old played as a winger in the win over Poland and as a striker against Serbia but did not make any valuable impact in both games.


The Torino midfielder failed to live up to expectation on his return to the team four years after being omitted. Obi played two nervy games for Nigeria trying too hard to impress and in the process made so many unforced errors. He was nowhere near the player he used to be for the Eagles. His long-range switches of play and even short passes that always seem to find a teammate at club level was missing from his game.


The Nantes defender had a game to forget against the Serbians on Tuesday. The 21 year old on the back of a sterling performance against Argentina was badly exposed by Alexandre Mitrovic and it was evident that he can’t be efficient in a 4-4-2 formation.

His tackles were rash and his passes from the defence were wayward. He was always caught out of position when the Super Eagles were on the defensive. He also needs to work more on his aerial prowess as he barely won any against the Serbians.



William Troost Ekong was Nigeria’s standout performer for the Super Eagles in defence in the two games though he was left exposed by the ineffective Chidozie Awaziem who stepped in for the injured Leon Balogun for the Serbia game.

His positional play alongside Balogun in the team’s win over Poland was exceptional and his tackles as well were timely. He also covered well for Shehu Abdulahi each time he surged forward to join the attack.


In the absence of the Super Eagles skipper, Chelsea star was unarguably Nigeria’s biggest star in the team and he posted a top class performance in the two games. The 27 year old Victor Moses scored for Nigeria from the penalty spot to hand Gernot Rohr’s men a 1-0 win against Poland after he was fouled in the box. He also had two attempts on goal in the first half of the team’s loss to Serbia before he was replaced.


Ebuehi showed NigerianS how effective he can be playing as right back for the Super Eagles. The Ado Den Haag defender showed he has speed, skill and directness, the basic attributes that will suit the fast paced Eagles game very well. But he also had nervy moments during the Serbia game when he was caught out of position which led to the second goal.


Obviously, there are areas he needs to improve on but Deportivo Fabril goalkeeper Francis Uzoho has shown in the two games against Poland and Serbia that he is definitely one for the future. Uzoho made brilliant saves to stop Robert Lewandowski twice in Wroclaw and also made three good saves against Serbia despite conceding twice in the defeat.

He still lacks the full confidence to man the Super Eagles goal but his ball handling has improved greatly from when he made his debut in November last year.

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  • Debbie 4 years ago

    @Mr Johnny Edward! There is God o. The two goals in the Serbian match came from Troost-Ekong and Ebuehi’s side yet you labelled them as the big hit while you labelled Awaziem a flop. That is very unfair. Although that Awaziem was not spectacular in the game, Ebuehi was definitely a bigger flop. It might be because Ebuehi is still recovering from injury but still Awaziem was not a terrible flop as much as Ebuehi in that game.

  • Bestsports. 4 years ago

    Coach Gernot Rohr must work on team organization, bite and flair movement, movement on and off the ball especially in opposition half. “Their ball circulation and distribution was very poor, and we could not even string four, five passes complete in the opponent’s half. So, I think if they can work on these aspects, the team will do better in subsequent matches, the team needs quality replacement for the first eleven. Injuries or lost of form are a daily occurrence in football so they be ably ready to do a good job at all times. Too many work still to do. My verdict is Nigeria ain’t good enough for a second round spot. No deception.

  • Onyeagoro Johnson Chima 3 years ago

    If nigeria that lost by 2 unreplied goals is not good enough for second round, what about Argentina that lost to Spain by six goals to one? Is Argentina good for second round? This is not how to judge football please!

    • dohdohsky 3 years ago

      as regards second round spot, I mag not agree with betsports but u don’t compare Argentina & Nigeria using those games. Just imagine Nigeria playing the way we did in a game again Spain… the goal margin would be at the moon. Besides if you watched Argentina game, they had good possession of the ball but finishing was their problem. While in Nigeria’s case, ball possession and cohesiveness was not there At all

    • God bless u and your family fo4 me my brother. Nice say there.

  • Ephaezar 3 years ago

    For me, the need for friendly matches have been achieved in d two encounters. D Coach by now must have had a better understanding of the players and lets build a team.

  • Bomboy 3 years ago

    Alex Iwobi was our stand out player in the game against Serbia, and you call him a flop? Even the individual rating given by your website earlier rated him among the best in the last match. Why do you now call him a flop? What have you been smoking? Please put away that pipe. It’s not good for business!

  • Samuel Ofodile 3 years ago

    Its obvious so many people don’t understand the essence of friendlies,we discovered a lot of lapses in the team,which we thought was absent.Now the coach has to ensure those flaws are plugged, football is a team game even if a certain player has 100% n another 20% its the average performance of the team that is considered, individual brilliance ll not take us anywhere, we need great team work,m so happy we lost because if we had won a lot of fans would b saying : Nigeria ll win d world cup.Manyatimes failures bring out the best in you.Let our team learn from their mistakes n grow.All this talk about flops n hits does not make sense n is not healthy 4 d team. Great teams revolve around unity n flair.

    • Gideon Ekpenyong 3 years ago

      God bless you. You have a very good understanding Samuel. Rohr before the match said he wasn’t looking at the final result but he was carrying out experiments to build the team. He knows what he wants and is pushing to get it. The two friendlies has given the team an idea of their weakness and where to improve on the next set of friendlies should see the team correcting those mistakes and perfecting their game play.

  • My prefered line up

    Echejile Abdullahi Ekong Eze/Balogun

    Ndidi. Ogu.
    Mikel./Iwobi Simon.


  • I think we need a good keeper, the keepers we got in the camp right now, can’t stand a good player at the world cup. other problems can be fixed, for me call back Vincent for the world cup he is far better, than what we got in camp right now.

  • Tyrone ebuehi a big Hit,wonder shall never End, no doubt ebuehi is a good player but on tuesday match vs serbia he was a Big Flop alongside bran idowu, Joel obi.chigozie Awaziem was a hit on that night i’ll give him 6 out of 10

  • I also disagree with this article, it even contradicts the rating CS gave earlier which is quite accurate. I am happy we loss, its very good for us.

  • Every one can’t be a coach,i know we all are super fans of our eagles,let be patient with our technical crews,but what borders me most is there are players who are coming to this world cup for the first time prior to selection,those players need cautions and confidence if they want names for themselves.Among our goalkeeping department i urge our coach to be very careful in selection as this may dent our hope of progressin to d knock out stages,let give Ezenwa the needed confident and stop experimenting,he has started d job and hopes he finishes it.