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Okocha: Why Super Eagles Lost To Argentina; Ighalo Should Have Scored

Okocha: Why Super Eagles Lost To Argentina; Ighalo Should Have Scored

By Johnny Edward:
Former Nigerian captain Austin Okocha has admitted that the Super Eagles lost  to Argentina at the ongoing 2018 FIFA World Cup in Saint Petersburg, Russia due to the ‘limited experience’, reports Completesportsnigeria.com.
Argentina scraped through to the Round of 16 after Lionel Messi broke his drought at the tournament to give the two’time world champions the lead in the 13th minute.
It was the fifth time the Nigeria team was losing to Argentina at the World Cup.
Victor Moses restored parity for the Super Eagles from the spot after Javier Mascherano was adjudged to have fouled Leon Balogun in the box.
Marcos Rojo scored a stunning late winner three minutes from time to send Jorge Sampaoli’s side to the next round.
“Uzoho kept us in the game with the saves he made in the second half. We panicked in the first half,” Okocha said during his analysis on SuperSport during the game.
“If you want to be a bit harsh. We were not clear to keep more players in attack. We were limited in terms of experience.
“It was a gift from Mascherano but then I thought we started the second half better. We got ourselves in better places. It was a fantastic penalty from Moses but I think we should have put them under more pressure.”
On the controversial penalty denied the Super Eagles, the former Bolton Wanderers playmaker said the Nigerian team did not put more pressure on the referee.
Marcos Rojo handled the ball in the box involuntarily and the referee viewed it on VAR but ruled it out.
“Nobody appealed under the referee. We know what the Argentines are like. Rojo got away with one.”
On Wilfred Ndidi’s chance in the 76th minute, Okocha said: “He had more time to keep the ball down to take a good shot.
“Scoring is not his thing but I feel he should have kept the ball a close more to take a better shot.”
On Odion Ighalo’s miss, Okocha’s said: “It was a glorious chance, the ball sat down well for him. If I was Ighalo I would try to force a save from the goalkeeper. If you don’t hit the target you don’t get your job done.”
Ighalo extended his goal drought to eight games. The Changchun Yatai striker has scored four goals in 21 games for the Super Eagles.
On the late goal the team conceded, the former PSG play maker added: “We’ve seen so many late goals in this tournament. Poor defending. Moses reacted late. I have seen him deal with that at Chelsea. I can’t fault the effort of the player the gave their best.
“It was going to be tough for us and it lived up to that and it went to the last three minutes, but I think we have to look at the bigger picture. Most of these players it was the first time.
“For the manager he did well. It’s about continutiy. We don’t have to point fingers at anyone.”
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  • #banigallo#@eagles9#

  • JOSEPH 3 years ago

    If u are the type dt studied moses well, you will see dt, he doesnt like that right back they drafted him to, every thing abt him shows it.

  • At 84 minutes to end the match Rohr should have made the two remaining changes just to delay the time and pressure. Rohr made the mistake both in the first match and this last match.

    • I totally agree with you. Why is it that nobody talking about this? This man lost the game for Nigeria. He should have made the changes to delay the game and slow down the pace.

    • Uzoigwe chidozie 3 years ago

      The game was lost because of Genot Rohr’s tactical mistakes, I mean what was he waiting for since 85 minutes to make changes knowing he is supposed to defend his goal and some of the players were tired. Don’t we have a talented african coach or Nigerian to give us better results? All these white men coming with hidden interests is not helping us at all.

      • I am Algerian, sad and upset about Rohr who didn’t make changes
        I noticed at 70′ that many players were tired specially Moses who has been running all the game
        and Finally the mistake came from him, he let Rojo alone face to the goalkeeper

        Nigeria has the best team in Africa, good luck for the future

  • Thank you Okocha.

    • Our boys were tired few minutes to the end of the game, fatigue set in… The ran out of energy completely. You can see it literally on their faces. They try their best… A technically sound coach @ 85 mins @ 1-1 draw, knowing that Nigeria has qualified, would have closed the game by introducing fresh legs in the midfield or tighten up the defense reversing from 3-5-2 formation he played to 4-5-1 formation, that will have balance the game, and reduced the pressure the Argentine strikers put on our defense that resulted in the goal. The Argentina coach was busy making substitution, playing more attackers… changing the dynamics of the game, because He needed a win.. our coach was doing nothing… He didn’t read the game at all… It’s sad !

  • Thank you Okocha if they like make Nigerian fans make them sack d manager then we go start from the scratch again and still blame whoever d manager again later. dunno why people were just blaming d coach for no reason

  • Hautside 3 years ago

    Moses shouldnt have ended the match!!! They needed a goal, they removed a defender ( number 3) and added an extra attacker, a good coach should have responded to that change! How do you have higuan,Aguero,messi in d frontline and you still held on with the tired players. Sampoli needed to change a defender for an attacker and he saw that moses was weak going forward! Why didn’t he change from the right back where Mr Musa was.

    Guardiola,mou and oda good coaches would have sacrificed Igahlo(as a mistaken sub) for a Defensive mid(ogu) and moses for RB.Then change the formation to 5-4-1

    Coaches should read games and not stick to a formation bcos they have not conceded or are still defending well.
    I hate to say..” They tried after every world cup”…When will countries like Brazil,Argentina start defending against African teams? Must we always be the defensive teams when we have the talents!!

    Africa still has a long way to go?

    • absolutely right

    • I supported what you said. The problem I saw is IGHALO. he is -1 to the team. I wonder what he is doing in that team

    • well put bro, we play defensive football at world stage, that is why we dont progress, imagine team is losing but it wants to attack more, yet a team with a draw qualfies it cant attack more what do they want? supe eagles asked for aloss and they were answered against world class stars

  • Now that Rohr has messed up this golden opportunity, who takes over as the coach? I guess it’s now the turn of an indigenous coach.

    Samson siasia said it category that
    Mr. Rohr will mess up and we will have to start from square one again. In another four years time, new sets of players will come in and the same story will be told again… We have a young team, let’s get them ready for the next world cup in 2026. This is Nigeria!!!

  • Bobo Colorado Springs 3 years ago

    The point is that Nigeria and Africa was robbed.That penalty that was denied for Nigeria ,would have kicked Messi and Argentina out, and that will be a shame, so they don’t want that. In as much as i like Messi and want him to go futher, that penalty should have sent Nigeria through. At Italia 90, two quick penalties were awarded to England to kick cameroun out. Africa wake up!!!!. Tomorrow it may be the turn of Ghana, Zambia , South Africa, Algeria or Cameroun again.
    Some people here are busy condeming the coach, players or Ighalo missing chances, what of our right that was denied with regard to the rules, that’s my concern . ondeming

    • If you don’t win outright FIFA will cheat, Brazil wins outright

    • Apart from been robbed ..lack of coaching officials..they should have added more source by using their brain get substitution started to gain more strength to the attacker’s and defenders he kept on waiting for the final  wizzle ..the coach was carried away

    • I agree. When I had a different full name for VAR saying the same thing you said, my post disappeared. We all know if that handball was from a Nigerian player, a penalty would have been given even without VAR. But even then, Argentina played like a team that was ambitious, hungry and determined to win. And win they did. The SE players played to defend the 1-1 draw. Okocha is absolutely right about Ighalo. Musa laid the perfect pass for him. Iwobi would have buried that easily. I have no idea why Iwobi did not come on even as a sub. A few bad decisions and the SE crash out. No amount of talking will now change that. My sympathies for brother Nigerians. I stayed awake until 4:00 am where I am visiting in the Philippines and slept pretty depressed. But that is life.

      • You are also right about penalty decisions against African teams. The same thing happened at Atlanta during the 1996 Olympic final game. Argentina were awarded a non-existent penalty from a clear case of diving.

    • stanley 3 years ago

      God bless you. 
      Nigeria was robbed. Africa was robbed. The referee was afraid to award clear penalty. 
      It was actually a penalty. 
      Please analyst don’t blame anybody. 
      They played their All. 
      You can watch from the TV and see loopholes but in physical assessment you are off.

    • Very well said! It’s amazing how most Africans have become so brainwashed and subservient that they are unwilling or unable to see the truth when it comes to west and take a stand! And it’s just not with regards to football. Like Bob Marley sang;” Emancipate yourelf from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds…”!

  • Agboola femi 3 years ago

    Good one jj. I think we still have some wonderful youthful world cup standard players in thus squad.
    Continuity is the key another world cup qualifying stage is around the corner.
    In the past Nigeria team are being blessed with good goal keepers reversed is the case now.
    Good outing guys

  • Lack of coaching officials at 85 minute he left the tired players on the pitch why did he take the likes of Simy and Iwobi to World Cup ?? So sad Argentina started the sub and yet the coach could not delay there moves with sub?? Yet he get thousands of dollars .fuck it

  • Edoman of New Jersey, USA 3 years ago

    Everybody knows my views about this stupid foreign couch. He have no clue of what he is doing at this level. This is Would Cup and this foreign couch failed us miserably. While Argentine couch was bringing in new fresh players as substitute, This stupid couch looked lost and confused as to what next to do. All this stupid couch knows how to do is, bring in Ighalo, who has stick of bad luck, to save us. Everybody see that the only thing Ighalo knows is, how not to score a goal. Any striker but Ighalo would have scored that goal there today.

    My fellow Nigerians, the foreign couch failed us far more than we failed ourselves . Let put our own destiny into our own hands from now on. Lets go back home and start a new beginning with our own indigenous Nigerian born Manager with the same good treatment we accorded this stupid couch who succeeded in duping us of our resources , happiness and joy . If we cannot afford the World best Couch, we better hire our own and give him all the necessary tools he may need to make him succeed.
    My sincere thanks goes to Mikel Obi, Balogun, Uzoho , Musa, Moses, Ekong , Ndidi, Bryan, Etobo, and one other individual l can not remember here. Yes, Omeruo. For Ighalo, l wish l would never ever want to see you play for a Club or talk of playing for the Nigeria National Team. Ighalo, you can hang your boots now. Thanks, no thanks.

  • Djeniko 3 years ago

    Was it because JJ Okocha criticized the coach in the loss to Croatia that is why Alex Iwobi is not used as should instead of Kelechi Iheanacho? Just played 3-5 minutes when use. Kelechi Iheanacho was very useless. He doesn’t look like a professional player at all. Again, was it someone that imposed Simy Nwankwo on the coach that is why he wasn’t used? He is a more effective attacker than Odion Ighalo. Simy would have given a bite to the attack. I will not believe it but the assumption is that Odion and other big boys have something over Gernot Rohr. Whatever it is, it seems these guys decides who plays and who doesn’t. Lastly why should he be using Idowu when Ebuehi is better? Idowu does not help the attack. Ebuehi does. Many questions needs to be explained. Yes, questions questions questions.

  • alimamarcus 3 years ago

    Nigeria  was  not ready for the  round of 16 and Argentina  were more than ever  ready and they won period! If not  our players  were tired from  defending and the technical  crew fail to do the substitution  at the right time. Assuming couch did substitution  the way he did against Iceland  Naija could  have  been  smiling  by now. The only  excuse  to give  us is the boys  are young and inexperienced. Haba couch!

  • Ability 3 years ago

    Rohr Is Not A Coach,please Nff Sack Him Joor

  • Theory 3 years ago

    Lets include Siasia or Jay Jay Okocha to the coaching team instead of those farmers supporting their fellow German farmer… Siasia and Okocha will do better….when u see the droping of players like Nwakali to start with should have given us a clear sight of the outcome… Nigeria is blessed with golden boys but the recent coaches intend to d business within their powers and not to serve Nigeria

  • ODION IGHALO is -1 to that team. I wonder why the coach keep sticking to him, when we have better strikers in the country. He is such a mess to the team.

  • It’s like I’m fucking tired of reading some comments here. Yesterday was the first tym since the match against Italy in USA 94 that Nigeria will be out of the tournament with one of their best games. To me, we are just unlucky. I took my tym to watch the replay and imagined that I’m not a Nigerian(watched it from neutral perspective). The referee stopped us from attacking after the penalty call by overlooking some fouls and blowing  uneccessary fouls against us with the clear penalty call overlooked. Go to world cup logs and read comments from foreigners u will realized we’ve won many people’s heart. 80% of them supported Messi but fell in love with Nigerian team in the process because of how we played. One said and I quote “Argentina won the game but Nigeria won the heart”  I was not OK with idowu until I watched the match again, only the guy was one of the reason why Messi played some passes backwards sometimes. From Uzoho to Idowu to Balogun to Ekong to Moses (di-maria got subtituted becos of him n balogun), to Etebo to Nididi to Mikel to Musa. That’s 9 out of 11 common! We tried! Check the player ratings from Football London, Nigeria got higher ratings than the Argentines.  We need continuityour with just few changes under the same coach. Note this:- Any new coach Is coming to play just one tournament and he will be sacked! Be it a foreigner or from home. It’s better we continue.

    • Your comments make more sense unlike Dr Drey who is so dumb he has corn flakes in his brains from smoking weed.
      Nice comments bro.

      • I like this comment. I wacthed that game again too, all players tried exceppt Ighalo, he was useless. People complained about Idowu here, but the guy is solid and good defensively. He uses his brain well and knows when to go forward. Ighalo was clueless, useless, uncomposed and not a world cup player. He should be sacked immediately. Iwobi would have played that role better supporting Musa in the second half. It was just not our day. Etebo is really a world class player. He is workaholic and always wverywher.

  • We are back home now! They tried. The African nation is not ready for world football. Moses was. Looking tired in that game, would have fortified him with John Ogu playing defensive midfield but covering up for Balogun. Brought new legs to push the ball forward away from our half.

    Well as I have said, the more ready team took the win.

    Well-done Naija!

    • Louise,
      We are. Africans are , and referencing SE superb show yesterday,you will agree that we have come close to winning the world cup .WE have reached their (big football nations) level. At that level of the game,any team deficient of top players and technicality will fall with several goals.But SE did well and lost due to late minutes error.Good game,proud of the boys ,proud of the technical crew and proud of Nigeria/Nigerian fans .Up Nigeria.i will like to be among the fans that will welcome them back.They are truly heroes. Mikel Obi and others thanks.Lets keep going.

  • JOSEPH 3 years ago

    Guys, thank you all, sincerely you’ve all said well, but I dnt think the ref robbed us, we should av taken our chances 2 good chances haba!

    • stanley 3 years ago

      Thanks bro. 
      All analyst blame the referee for the loss. 
      Guys if not that hand, Ighalo would score easily. The hand redirect the ball of position while he struck. 
      Don’t blame the players, CAF are already proud of this youthful team.

  • Johnson 3 years ago

    We lost the match because of indecision from the coach after the all the reported good play of John Ogu in the training and he was the best performer the only time we defeated the Argentina, the coach would have brought him to help the defense after our equalizer and why keep that young Ebuehi in the bench wrong calculation from the coach and I believe in this team. Thump up boyz

  • Ighalo messed up….u cant give a world class player that kind of chance or chances and he will not do something great with it….well…we are out for good

  • we were rubbednd no wonder he did not give d penalty records have shown dat Messi has never lost any game dat ref officiated country or club, almost all d African teams specifically were rubbed with dat var tin wat is d need of it den.if I have my way fifa shud hold Dem selves Africa can host there own world cup for Africa alone.that ref needs to be investigated nff shud not sleep on dis mata,there is an arrangeeeee tin sum where

  • It is over. Better luck to Nigeria next time.

  • Omaskels 3 years ago

    Am highly disappointed with dis clueless coach..he has defended till 80th min,all he needed to do was to sub Musa for John ogu to assist d defence,sub sluggish Moses for onazi to support d midfield.at least dis changes would av taken 3-4 mins n delay d time ..but instead he made wrong changes.poor tactical decision cost us d match..he would av added more men to defend since it’s already 80mins..wasteful ighalo was poor..simy would av been beta..less than 10mins to go,jst leav a man upfront n d rest behind d ball but he refused to dish out rightful instructions to dem..Again,d technical crew has failed us..And as for d officiating.,it’s obvious FIFA wants Argentina to qualify.Pls Amaju,play Ur politics very well n rescue Africa..D journey of 2022 starts nw..d team should be kept togther,invite more players n blend dem with indigenous coach cos oyibo man can neva win world cup for u..let’s encourage n support our own.with dis support given to GE,if given to 9ja coaches we will do beta..D coach is to be blame for dis defeat..Am still in tears..but someday we will get it right ..One 9ja.!

  • 2018 world cup is over for Nigeria but i must admit that the following contributed to our untimely ouster in a match we should have won convincingly! Our technical crew did not do the needful substitutes when Argentines were doing theirs. One unforgivable error committed by Rohr was his decision to start the match with idowu when Ebuehi who played better and supported our attack and came back quickly to defend in the last match we won was available. Mosses who looked tired should have been substituted with Iwobi and musa be converted to right flank so that iwobi can attack from the left. Ighalo missed two world class chances just like Aiyegbeni did in 2010 against south korea. Had ighalo converted those chances, some Nigerians will neither stay awake up in tears to 5:00 am nor continue to mourn the loss. A friend called and informed me that he cannot even make it to the market because he is yet to recover from the shocking loss.

  • Mikel, Moses and Musa forgot to used their nation’s cup and world cup experience. At 86th minutes when you are 1-1 draw I expect the three to know how to hold on to ball at the midfield to waste time. At worst, the the argentines will push them and refreee will blow for a free kick.They completely forgot this tactis.

  • Justin 3 years ago

    All the players tried but a reasonable coach supposed to bring defenders at moment to less the pressure or bring iwuobi to and strength to the attack so that the opponent will be too cautious of coming out because they know ighalo is minus …welcome boys

  • Ijoko Veec 3 years ago

    Racism in world cup, African country should forget about world cup for a while. Because this is what happens after every four years, we are always cheated out against white country while they uses blacks to win cups for themselves. No world cup for Africans until 2030, then they will learn their lesson.

  • We didn’t do well in the world cup we know
    After the match we all have different things to talk about, like the coach even players, but when we look at the game we were robbed even when the ref use VAR. It give us a clear message that Africa should look for a way to play football, it is not only in this year WC it happen but on the previous ones played
    Secondly our coach would have introduce fresh legs in the game and if talking about packing the bus it won’t help us so what I see that the best way to defend is to attack like klopp will always do, 3-5-2 formation was not a bad one if only we took advantage on the pressure on argentina needing a win an we need a draw at least