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Nwankwo, Lokosa Shine As DR Congo Hold Super Eagles In PH

Nwankwo, Lokosa Shine As DR Congo Hold Super Eagles In PH

By Dare Esan in Port Harcourt:

The Super Eagles were held to a 1-1 draw by Democratic Republic of Congo in a friendly game on the patchy pitch of the Adokiye Amiesiemaka Stadium on Monday.

William Troost-Ekong gave Nigeria a first half lead but Ngulubi equalised for DR Congo from the penalty spot in the second half.

It was a send-off game for the Super Eagles who will jet out to London on Tuesday for their friendly game against England in Wembley Stadium on Saturday.

The game saw the duo of Crotone striker Simeon Nwankwo and Kano Pillars and Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) top scorer Junior Lokosa make their debut for the Super Eagles and gave a good account of themselves.

The impressive Nwankwo put himself about and should have opened his goals account for the Super Eagles after good footwork inside the box on four minutes but saw his left-foot shot hit the bar with Kelechi Iheanacho’s follow-up blocked.

Congo almost took the lead on eight minutes after William Troost-Ekong failed to clear a dangerous cross but his blushes were saved with a good save by Francis Uzoho whose outstretched left leg stopped England-based Benik Afobe’s strike.

The Super Eagles broke the deadlock on 15 minutes through Troost-Ekong who slotted into the net after Iheanacho toe poked the ball away form Congolese keeper Mossi Ngawi Anthony from a clever free-kick from Ogenyi Onazi.

Nigeria went close on 33 minutes after the Congolese failed to clear their lines but Iheanacho’s shot was blocked away to safety.

Iheanacho went close again on 35 minutes after he was played through on goal by Onazi only to hit a tame shot which the Congolese keeper dealt with.

With five minutes left in the first half, Bournemouth star Afobe had a chance to pull Congo level after turning inside the box only to hit his left strike just wide off target.

Before the start of the second half, the Super Eagles made two changes with Alex Iwobi replacing Iheanacho, Ola Aina went in for Elderson Echiejile and Joel Obi was substituted for Mikel Obi.

In the 57th minute, Nwankwo had a chance to double the Eagles’ lead from a long throw from Aina but the Congolese keeper got down well to palm his header away before Lokosa was denied by a recovering defender.

Congo won a free-kick in a decent position on 61 minutes but Uzoho calmly plucked the ball in the air.

Oghenekaro Etebo had a chance to make it 2-0 on 68 minutes after a poor clearance from the Congo keeper but his long range effort went just wide.

Congo were back on level terms on 78 minutes through Ngulubi who converted a penalty after Aina fouled a Congo player.

Nwankwo was unlucky not to score from a pass from Ahmed Musa late in the game no thanks to a Congo defender with a good clearance.

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  • Onyeagoro Johnson Chima 3 years ago

    That DRC penalty was not a penalty as the incident occurred outside the box. Moreover, why must such match be played on that terrible pitch? Who is NFF trying to please? Godwin Akpabio’s pitch would have been better. Nigeria we hailed thee!! We never learn. 

    • ovoke ogheneovo 3 years ago

      True talk bro…thump down to NFF for that show of shame. We can’t be send off our Darling team in such a pitch. It was really shameful and contributed immensely to the performance of our boys. Godswill akpabio stadium would have done the job better.

  • Papa J 3 years ago

    So disappointed that nff could take such a match to this God-forsaken stadium with patchy pitch. What were they thinking? To get the boys injured or what? Can’t even evaluate their performance because this team is made up of 98% foreign based players who are used to good pitches.who will want to pick [email protected] critical time by impressing the fans with that primary school field? Politics everywhere.

  • Chima E Samuels 3 years ago

    Lokosa and Simy would have been excellent if mikel was on pitch I’m sad why till date we can’t get a better mikel or change tactics if mikel is absent to suit other players because eagles always suffer without mikel

  • Papa J 3 years ago

    I don’t want to hear of Ebola outbreak in Nigeria oooh

  • Somebody  shud  be fired  for not doing  d needfullat dis time 

  • Chairmanfemi 3 years ago

    Our Midfield still lacks creativity without Mikel Obi. Imagine Simy had the services of Mikel to compliment him,the scoreline would have been a cricket scoreline. It a pity that Lokosa will eventually be dropped,if not, i would personally take him along. He(lokosa) and Simy deserve it. BIG BIG KUDOS to Uzoho, he was outstanding today and he finally gained my trust.

  • Frank 3 years ago

    Simmy Nwankwo has all it takes to be the next Nwankwo kanu.He is tall,fast,strong,skilfull and intelligent.For me,his shirt is already guaranteed if the final selection is done on merit.

  • Somebody tell me something about echiejile. Is he still d best left back in D team? I think Balogun’s experience is enuf @ d back line cos with him, there’s Ekong.  I wish he pairs Awaziem one day. Cos even Ekong Struggles without him.so…to depend on Echiejile all in d name of Experience will be a disaster. Ebuehi needs just a game more to show he’s d best right back we have. Simy is d man up front, without support from d midfield,  he showed himself. Onazi is becoming weak, Very soon, we shall see

    • my brother when ndidi is back to full fitness u can be rest assured that Onazi wont have a shirt in the starting line up

  • Cappaccino 3 years ago

    Everything was wrong with that match; From bad pitch to poor match officiating to Joker commentators (imagine a commentator saying “he is a young teenager”, “Nigeria is playing good than Congo and they are holding 41% of the possession”) to poor statistics analysis. I wonder if NFF were looking for some way to cut cost by making the super eagles play in that poor condition. The boys did their Best Buy just as the commentators said “Nigerian players are taking the match too easy just to prevent any form of injury”.

  • PapaFem 3 years ago

    Someone should tell Genot Rohr that Mikel Obi has no backup in that team. He has experimented with so many players looking for full backs. Now we have more than enough. Let him do the same for a reliable playmaker. Anytime the guy isn’t on the field of play, our midfield is always in shambles. Almost all our midfielders. With the exception of Ndidi, who unrivalled in marking and Mikel Obi with his experience and superb ball holding ability, other midfielders in that team possess similar attribute. No variety. Simy was denied of adequate supply today. The guy would have ruined Congo DRC with those defence splitting passes from Mikel. Kekechi Nwakali can tested after the WC. His brother isn’t bad too. Let’s just look around. Someone may be out there looking for attention.