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Omeruo: Super Eagles Deserved More From Mali Defeat

Omeruo: Super Eagles Deserved More From Mali Defeat

Kenneth Omeruo claimed the Super Eagles were unlucky in their defeat to the Eagles on Tuesday night.

The three-time African champions lost 2-0 to Eric Chelle’s side in their friendly at the Grand Stade de Marrakech.

Atalanta star El Bilal Toure gave the Eagles the lead on 18 minutes after latching on a poor Chidozie Awaziem’s pass.

Read Also:Friendly: Mali Record First Win Against Super Eagles In 49 Years

Kamarou Dounmbia sealed the win with another goal after the break.

“I think we played a better second half, it wasn’t a bad game , we just didn’t take our chances and they scored two goals. Overall, I think we played a good game,” Omeruo told NFF TV.

“I think it was good outing for us, fantastic spirit. The players that were here gave their best. We just couldn’t score in the game.”

The Super Eagles will now shift their attention to June 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against South Africa and Benin Republic.

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  • Ololo 2 weeks ago

    Nobody is talking about the second goal and how omerue lack of pace and inability to trap the ball was what lead to the goal..

    We will not learn from this, but put blame only on the coach.. the two goals were products of defensive errors and if we don’t correct them before the next game ,it will be costly..

    I think we need a foreign coach who will be ruthless with his team selection and who players will be scared to want to play poorly because they will know they will be kicked out of the team.

    We really miss an oshimen , dessers was poor in the game.. I just hope south Africa do not kick us out of world cup qualification

    • Omeruoo has always been a snail on a bike. He’s always beaten for pace, just check all the goals we concede with him on duty. The Messi goal in 2018 with him panting heavily and chasing shadows is classic. Same picture of him struggling to catch up. How he keeps getting invites is beyond me.

      Omeruo, Collins, Dessers, and even Osayi need to be excused from the SE now, We need a crack squad. Now is the time to start penciling down good starters and quality replacements for liabilities like the mentioned.

      • Michel 2 weeks ago

        I agree with you on those that should be dropped,awaziem should also be on the list,desserts should not be invited anymore,he is not a finisher,at 29,yet he plays badly,omeruo,Musa,chukwueze, awaziem,osiyi Samuel,dessers,tella, shouldn’t be getting invites..finidi gorge will be a time bomb waiting to explode if made the coach,a few years ago he was hustling for under 17 job and today he wants to be SE coach ..how do u play awaziem and omeruo and hope to win

        • Is this not a friendly? Ekong is not available. Bassey is not available. Who do you want him to use. The problem is if he did not learn from this. Gabriel Osho was invited but couldn’t come. What do you want the coach to do. To go on the pitch and stop the school boy errors of these players. He made do with what he had. This is friendly. This is friendly. This is friendly. He should learn and move on. Simple

        • Arabmoney 2 weeks ago

          Una sabi play ball?

      • Onero 2 weeks ago

        @Kel, God bless you Omeruo is a spent horse and have no place in the SE. He easily run out of steam, but he tends to cover up by doing media or PRO stuff.

      • Tony K 2 weeks ago

        And also Ndidi have no more business in the SE squad. He should go and either Onyedika or Yusuf should permanently take Ndidi’s space in the team.

    • Losing 1 match by itself shouldn’t tarnish Finidi’s chances of landing the Super Eagles job full-time.

      However, losing the defensive and overall tactical discipline that was the crown jewels of the Super Eagles during the Afcon is worrisome.

      Also, by and large, Nigeria tend to lose matches against teams of Mali’s calibre by just 1 goal deficit. Losing to Mali by 2 goals to nil is an ominous red flag!

      Peseiro tried and failed to get Nigeria playing on the front foot. Eguavoen succeeded in just 3 games in getting Nigeria to be aggressors in games.

      Finidi tried to make the Super Eagles the aggressors against Mali but we were cut down to size emphatically.

      The goals conceded against Mali screamed of disorganisation. The defensive shape was haphazard for the second goal while a poorly executed defensive routine led to the first goal: 2:0 to Mali.

      Finidi has spent very many months with these same players under Peseiro. It will appear that he has not been able to identify their strengths and weaknesses.

      The loss was bad and the scoreline made it worse for a team that recently almost lifted the Afcon trophy.

      There is no shame in admitting that your players cannot orchestrate a certain type of flamboyant and fluid football. Hence Peseiro went ultra defensive.

      If we go into world cup qualifiers overestimating the quality of our players, we will lose and lose big! That is my takeaway from this loss to Mali.

      Rohr was realistic of the potentials of our players and played conservatively, only for fans to slam him.

      Peseiro was realistic of the quality of our players and played ultra defensive football much to the annoyance of fans.

      Eguavoen felt we have player who can take the tournament and world by storm only to lose World Cup and Afcon assignments.

      Whomever the NFF employs full time (local or foreign), I hope it’s a coach who is realistic about our misfiring strikers, unimaginative midfielder,error proned defenders and overrated goalkeepers in such a manner to play pragmatically.

      • Coache 2 weeks ago

        I really appreciate your pragmatic and well crafted post. To add to this, the Malian coach knew our defenders are lackadaisical, worst still at AFCON. We have defenders who are jittery on the ball and not bold enough. That is our greatest problem. They bullied our defenders and did not allow them and rightfully got the goals.

        The team played better in the second match but relying on Iwobi as a 10 will destroy Nigeria. He prefers backward passes and backward movements to taking on opponents defenders. We should not be destroying our team when we have ball joglers in Ejuke, Nwakali and Nwobodo. These are very bold players who can take on defenders.

        I weep because there is no proper transition between midfield and attack WHICH IS OUR GREATEST PROBLEM.

      • Deo. Really it’s not about the quality of our players. Lots of first team players were not available. So we can’t use this to judge the team. It’s good that he used these fringe players then he can learn from it. This is the reason for friendlies. England list at home to Brazil.

        I would always love s coach who try out fringe players in friendlies. This win at all cost will not do any good to our football. The reason we have lost it at age grade levels when MRI scan came in board.

        For a coach to have a good team is there no place for learning and trying out new players.

        Why the hammer on finidi in just the second game? Pesero took us to the final, the hammer fell on him. Now in his second game we are already crucifying him.

    • Which foreign coach has been ruthless? Can you pay for a good foreign coach? Has any foreign coach being able to beat the politics and foolishness of nff. Only westerhof did it. It was war.

  • Sugar Daddy 2 weeks ago

    Frankly, there were bunch of players that do not deserve to be called to the national team again in their life! Dessers is number one culprit in my estimations.

    Some of our players finds it difficult to trap or hold the a pass closely… that is some kind of infantile errors.

    Tactically, the coach had an Idea but the implementation was poor…he was trying to play the German tactical game plan. Please, take a look at the France v Germany game last weekend, you will understand what we call football artistry. The entire German team were unplayable…. they were too much for the French team.

    We have better players who could be called to the team not these bunch of learners. We were too static even when the philosophy was to be in possession and control the game from the back (defence) with incisive long range but ground passes often. Our midfield was supposed to be able to outplay the opponents in tight places with artistry and short passes but attack minded… with players playing for each other covering spaces with clear and incisive passes to the attacking players or strikers. Iwobi was the only player we had on the pitch last night.

    It’s unfortunate that they ended up exposing each other especially the goalkeeper. They needed numbers to effectively carry out the tactical formations but the defence line was either too far from the defence or rather they were too high up in the pitch…thus, granting the Malians too much space for the counter attack…and with the inexperienced personnel at the back line, it was a touch and go situation.

    We will need a coach, like you observed that can instill respect and possibly fear on the players.

    Please NFF get the Guardiola Man immediately or Pitso Mosimane. I believe they have what it takes to man the super eagles coaching position.

    The German/French match of the 21/03/2024 is the tactical template our super eagles team should adopt. That was what football experts called Total football…the Germans are poised to win the world cup already.

    … and we must be fast about it.

    • What about when the Germans lost games in their backyard. What was the performance of the Germans in the last world cup. What titles have they won recently. Now they play one game and they become angels.

      When they lose they don’t usually sack their coaches. They give them the chance to learn.

      We also failed to talk about how we always lose clear chances even with Oshimen who is one of the best in the world.

      The same happened yesterday. Mali took their chances but we failed to take ours. Yes I agree that deseerr has lost his chance in the team. He was too wasteful. I used to support him. But Oshimen awoniyi etc have also committed the same errors.

      We have seen team who have played badly but have converted chances especially clear ones.

      I am not against getting a foreign coach but apart from the fact that no good coach will come to Nigeria because of many reasons, we will only be deceiving ourselves again to bring a journey man from abroad to coach the eagles all because he is white.

  • Sugar Daddy 2 weeks ago

    Thanks deo for this far reaching summation…we had no shots at goal through out the second half. The Malian goalkeeper was literally on holidays all through the second half. We couldn’t put a shot through. There were no incisions and the players in most cases were indecisive… they couldn’t take on the defenders directly in the 18 yards box probably to create a penalty or infringement around the box… A whole lot were exposed last night.

    We will need to have a top coach.

    Get the Guardiola Man or settle for Pitso Mosimane period.

  • I have read many contributions where fans blaming this player or that player for Nigeria’s shambolic 2:0 friendly loss to Mali. Left to me, these same players under a different philosophy and tactical instructions and arrangements could at least have nailed out a draw from this encounter.

    It then begs the question, what was the philosophy?

    Nigeria embarked on high press but the formation did not allow it to work well.

    Playing out from behind gifted Mali their first goal.

    The extra man up front in midfield (Iwobi) failed to really create ample goal scoring chances. To make matters worse, the same Iwobi had to drop deep to collect the ball when he was redundant up front, thereby returning to the same centre midfield that caused him to be insulted by fans in the Afcon.

    Moses Simon was played as a Support Striker which arguably contributed to his injury and proved laughable as he rarely plays that role for club and country.

    The Super Eagles were disjointed particularly at the back which allowe Mali’s beautiful football to shine and for them to create plentiful credible goals scoring opportunities.

    The Super Eagles struggled to generate attacking momentum.

    All in all, the Super Eagles lacked tactical organisation across the park. It was difficult to get behind what they were trying to do because it wasn’t evident.

    • Mr Hush 2 weeks ago

      @ deo

      as always, I appreciate your stance. Remember, I stated this yesterday about the jury still out on Finidi as the coach of the Eagles. I was carried away by the game against Ghana.
      I have never been too keen on local coaches marshalling the Eagles, especially the ones we have right now. Simply put, they aren’t qualified for the role. Finidi included. We forget Finidi failed with Enyimba in the continent. So in what yardstick should he get the job?
      The likes of Amodu, Keshi, actually cut their teeth internationally and grew their Cv in between managing the Eagles; hence the reason they were successful. Keshi particularly.

      As it stands, we don’t have the calibre of a Keshi that can manage the Super Eagles, and that’s the painful truth. We should go for merit over sentiment if we really want to succeed. We should be looking forward and far ahead rather than been myopic. We should be thinking to be competitive against the best the world has to offer rather than thinking short term.
      I totally agree with @ Sugar Daddy, with the names on the applicant list currently, we should be picking between Pitso or the former assistant to Pep. They simply have the best resume.

      • Mr Hush 2 weeks ago

        …… I WASN’t carried away by the game against Ghana..

      • Hush. What resume did rohr westerhof and pesero brought along? None. Yet they had relative success with the super eagles. If finidi is bad but he won our first game against Ghana after donkey years.

        We brought laggerbsck, Bora milutinivic but the achieved nothing.

        Bonfrere had no credentials yet he won gold at the Olympics.

        We still don’t understand what is working for us.

        We need to look at why we have succeeded and failed as I showed above.

        Not taking anything away from keshi. Though I was sure Sylvanus okpala was the tactical brain behind keshi at the afcon 2013.

        But what did keshi achieved with the team after afcon 2013?

        What works for us is not the big credentials that any coach will bring. A coach that is not ready to stay with the eagles for 4 to five years will not get anything done..

        That was the westerhof template. Rohr benefited from this too until he began to misbehave. But his team grew to play teams and did very well.

        We were qualifying for tournaments with games to spare. We won our first friendlies against Argentina. We also played drawn games with Brazil.

        He had time to study the players and the team and to take his own decisions. He used s 352 formation and we all loved it.

        He brought in new players he knew would be useful to him.

        That was what westerhof did.

        That’s the template.

        Nigerian players and sports people can do anything in the pitch. We saw what happened at all African games.

        We only need organization and time for a coach to study the team learn and make his own decisions.

        Eguavon played three good games at afcon we applauded him, then one bad game he must go.

        Siasia the same thing. Pesero the same thing. Now finidi the same thing.

        Wea re waiting for pitso. We will win all matches and his team will play all games the way we want it.

        No good coach will come to Nigeria. No good foreign coach will send four or five years with the team.

    • Deo but we have seen situations where some players have been used out of normal position and have performed.

      We don’t know why sodiq did not play yesterday. Sodiq and Iheanacho should have started. We heard sodiq could not because of Ramadan. We don’t know what happened.

      Ndidi did excellently well with uche and iwobi against Ghana but he was ineffective yesterday.

      A coach can put up tactical formation but the players have to interpret it on the pitch. Injuries plagued these friendlies right from day one.

      While not excusing finidi because I felt Tella should have started in place of Simon. We don’t need to see Simon in that match. We know him already. Because it’s a friendly we should behave seen desser and Tella upfront.

      Finidi knew what he wanted them to do but the personnel on the field could not interpret it.

      Pesero changed tactics at afcon to get results. Niddi and Boniface were not there. It affected him so he switched. But we all blamed him at the end.

      I can’t crucify finidi for this. Never. If I am nff, I will give him the chance to do two more matches. Yes it’s a risk but taking risks is part of the game.

      After all it was a risk to employ westerhof rohr and pesero.

      • Two more matches are world cup qualifiers sir. No way. No way. No way. Players will still not understand his “ideas or plans” and it would have been game over.

  • Ayphillydegreat 2 weeks ago

    We need a foreign coach if we want to qualify for the WorldCup. Finidi did all he could and all he could do is play the same Peseiro tactics with zero discipline. Even against Ghana it’s clear they played better than us in the second half. Thank goodness for Lookman. Dessers was just roaming around the pitch like Wi-Fi. He’s just not good enough to be called up ahead of Moffi. Awaziem Omeruo Collins should be replaced with better solid defenders like Ogbu and Okoli. Finidi can only be an assistant at best to a foreign coach. Otherwise we might as well say goodbye to qualifying for the WorldCup. 

  • Bestsport 2 weeks ago

    No need for talks, Our CLUELESS NFF SHOULD GET AMUNEKE ON BOARD ASAP and let finidi assist amuneke, nsien can be a third assistant for starters! That nsien is tight good.. anything than this will mean Nigeria will be out of qualification for world Cup yet again because of Nff incompetency! A white oyibo coach is good but time is short to know our players before June! NFFJAMBOREE WE CAN C… we might frankly speaking not go to yet another world Cup because of that Hugely incompetent Nff… IT IS AMUNEKE TIME AND DESTINY, ANY MANIPULATION WILL BE ANOTHER DISASTER… THAT NIGERIA TEAM IS A 4-4-2 AND 4-2-3-1 TEAM ALTERNATIVELY AT BEST..

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