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Iheanacho On Target As Super Eagles, Tunisia Draw In Friendly

Iheanacho On Target As Super Eagles, Tunisia Draw In Friendly

The Super Eagles played a 1-1 draw with the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia in their second international friendly game in October played at the Jacques Lemans Arena in Austria on Tuesday, Completesports.com reports.

Kelechi Iheanacho put the Super Eagles ahead before Mohamed Drajer drew Tunisia level late in the first half.


The Eagles made four changes in their starting eleven with Ahmed Musa, Kevin Akpoguma, Moses Simon and Kenneth Omeruo coming on.

Also, Genk striker Cyriel Dessers and CSKA Moscow winger Chidera Ejuke made their debuts for the Super Eagles coming on in the second half.


It was a much improved performance from the Eagles as they bossed most part of the game but the resilient Tunisian held their own to force the match to a draw.

The Tunisians have now failed to beat the Eagles since the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations.

The Super Eagles had the game’s first chance in the 12th minute as the ball dropped kindly for Akpoguma inside the penalty box from a free-kick but his shot was blocked from close range.

Also Read – Live Blogging: Nigeria Vs Tunisia (International Friendly)

Three minutes later Tunisia had a chance of their own from a corner but Okoye was on hand to prevent them from taking the lead.

In the 21st minute the Eagles opened scoring through Iheanacho who turned brilliantly inside the box before putting his chance away.

On the half hour mark, the Eagles had a chance to double their lead but Iheanacho saw his weak penalty saved by Ben Mustapha in goal for Tunisia.

On 30 minutes Simon played in Iheanacho on the left, but his dangerous low cross was cleared away for a corner.

With five minutes left in the first half, Okoye was called to action as he got down to stop Wahbi Khazri’s low shot.

In the 44th minute Mohamed Drajer equalised for Tunisia as he slammed the ball into the roof of the net off a cross from the left.

Akpoguma almost equalise for the Super Eagles in one minute of first half added time, but his goal-bound header from a corner was cleared off the line.

The Eagles had a positive start three minutes into the second half but Iheanacho’s header from a corner went just over the bar.

In the 57th minute the Eagles made their first change with Chidozie Awaziem coming on for Balogun.

They made another change on 66 minutes as Sanusi went off with a suspected groin injury for Jamilu Collins.

With 20 minutes left Dessers replaced Musa for his debut in the Eagles colours.

In the 79th minute Iheanacho found space in front of the Tunisian area but his shot was blocked.

On the stroke of 90 minutes Okoye produced a superb save tipping Drager’s clever chip over the bar for a corner.

By James Agberebi

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  • pompei 2 years ago

    A better display from Nigeria. The midfield of Iwobi and Ajayi did well. Things will definitely improve when the likes of Ndidi, Aribo, Ejaria and Etebo become available.
    It must be said though that with Iwobi’s performance in the last two games, it will be tough to collect that midfield jersey from him!
    Ejuke and Dessers came in and added some much needed pep to the attack. Dessers was up and about, and came close to scoring. Ejuke’s purposeful dribbling and movement bothered the Tunisian defense. A good debut for the two lads.
    Leon “der kaiser” Balogun played one of his best games for Nigeria. The way he brought the ball out from the defense reminded me so much of Stephen Keshi. Just a commanding presence in the defense. Akpoguma looked more at home in the center back position. He did well, and also came close to scoring with a nice header.
    Also impressive was Sanusi. He has this Ifeanyi Udeze energy about him, and he is a willing runner, bombing forward frequently and whipping in some delicious crosses. Hope he recovers swiftly from the groin injury he picked up.
    Kudos also to Maduka Okoye. Composed, confident, and capable. Uzoho will have a battle on his hands for the goalkeeping jersey.
    Chukwueze is a good player. However, his game has stagnated and has become tres tres predictable. Everybody now knows that when he gets the ball, he will cut to his left, and defenders are waiting for him when he does that. Boy needs to reinvent his game. Learning to use his right foot would be a game changer, as it would give him more options, and make him less predictable. He also needs to work on his decision making. I hope to see improvement from this otherwise hardworking young man.
    Overall, not a bad showing by both sides.

    • Dr. Drey 2 years ago

      I share your same thoughts @ pompei.
      I am particularly glad about the quality of opposition we played in these friendlies….the no 2 ranked team on the continent and the African champions. Whoever was hoping we would steamroll them both shouldn’t think about it too much.

      I can say boldly say our goalkeeping and defense (per adventure Omeruo is not playing) is sorted. Our ‘defensive midfield’ seems sorted. The fact that we restricted the top teams on the continent to half chances in both games lends credence to that…except for the unforced errors and loss of focus which gifted the goals we conceded.

      That been said, the midfield is supposed to be the link btw defence and attack, and the central/attacking midfield is meant to link the midfield and the attack. Our attack couldnt come to live because of a ‘weak’ central/attacking midfield, thus where we need overtime of work is the central and attacking midfield. I believe once we can sort those areas out, the attack will click.

      But in all honesty, it was never a bad run-out. I’m glad these weaknesses were fully exposed….instead of us living in some illusion of what we arent. The onus is on the coaches to go and start designing algorithms that will solve these complex equations once and for all.

      Looking forward to the November games. The list should be out very soon, though i dont expect much changes, apart from the absent ones returning (if fit by then). But effectively, some players may just have played themselves out of the SE for the time being.

      • pompei 2 years ago

        “The fact that we restricted the top teams on the continent to half chances in both games lends credence to that…except for the unforced errors and loss of focus which gifted the goals we conceded”.

        Dr Drey, this is my biggest source of satisfaction. The team looks solid and organized defensively. We now need to work on being better offensively. We have the players. Rohr hopefully will continue improving the team.

      • Dr drey. I really admire ur contribution in dis forum,I have been reading people’s comments for months now and u really impress me with urs,but there is something I will luv to point out am a big fan of GR,but the truth must be told GR lacks technical ability,why on earth will u play akpoguma at RB when we have two natural RBs at the bench in the name of Ola and Tyrone, the likes of awaziem Kenneth omeruo and Collins need to be drop from the super Eagles, semi ajayi is a very slow player in that Dm role yet he kept him on the pitch for that long what happens to tijani, is not about inviting players or begging players to change allegiance when we to no how to use them we have a coach that lacks technical ability,why was Musa on the starting lineup why was akpoguma playing RB, why keep semi ajayi on the pitch for that long, why was also samu on the pitch for that long,we know this players we no wat they can offer to the Super Eagles we needed to see new call ups on the starting eleven so that we can see wat dis players can offer,we need Bassey of Rangers to compete with Sanusi on the left back..

  • Well…I’m impressed .
    But I wish i know what’s really going on Rohr’s mind.
    Aina was supposed to come in on two occasions..when Balogun was injured and then Sanusi because in Aina, Assist is 80% sure.
    Then may be cos its been long we see Collins played, he wants to see what he can do but trust me, Aina was the forth player we missed in those matches after Indidi, Aribo and Osimhen. The back heel and the cross in our las game still ring on my head.
    In all, Our Team is 65-70% done.
    Weldon team.

  • Kingston 2 years ago

    Super eagles did well! Though mishaps here and there but overall wasn’t bad. Iwobi, to me, wins man of the match next to balogun then iheancho. Moses Simon was also impressive especially with his tracking back, save us a lot. But iwobi surprised me, he played box to box so well you might wonder about etebo and aribo returning. Almost all our chances were created by him. His vision was superb. This match made me realize why rohr has been benching omeruo, very poor display coming from someone of his talent. And lastly I really wish balogun was ten years younger

  • Kingston 2 years ago

    I very much agree with you @sean, ola aina is our most creative fullback currently. I don’t see why he doesn’t play regularly under Rohr. And good job to iheanacho, want to see him partner with victor osimhen with iwobi dictating attack behind them. Not forgetting ola aina and sanusi/kalu as wingback.

  • Sean kingston drey pomoei you guys are great analysts. You just showed everything in a summary. With absentees returning eagles will be too notch. Eagles just toyed with that first match. Maybe because they are just getting together. They were much hunger in the second match. Rohr needs to learn lessons. His changes should come up earlier. I miss aribo and ndidi and oshimen.

    Dessers showed onuachu what a striker is. Onuachu is out for good. Eagles were unlucky with some shots getting blocked by the defence. Akpoguma should have scored. Nacho should have scored three.

  • Elijah samson 2 years ago

    @Pempei you have said it all. Defense is okay now we need to work on the attack. The defense is good because our coach and the assistant were defenders during their active days. If nff can bring someone like Amunike as assistant who will bring his experience as an attacker in his playing days which we all saw in 2015 u17 world cup. You saw the way them Victor Osimhen were bagging in goals like water.

  • Dennis 2 years ago

    I didn’t watch the match completely but from what I saw, we played well. I’ve been impressed with okoye, sanusi, and ebuehi. With etebo, Ndidi and aribo in that squad, we will be fierce.
    Kudos to our coach. I think he knows his onion and he’s working tooth and nail to make sure he produces a great squad. We’ve still got players like ehizibue, ejaria, seyi ojo, aderabioyo,bazee and uduokhai which are yet to play for us but seem likely some will do shortly. These eagles are matching on