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Onyekuru, Nwankwo On Target As Eagles Edge Liberia In Exhibition Game

Onyekuru, Nwankwo On Target As Eagles Edge Liberia In Exhibition Game

By Johnny Edward:
The Super Eagles of Nigeria defeated the Lone Star of Liberia 2-1 in Tuesday’s exhibition game played at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Stadium, Monrovia reports Completesportsnigeria.com.

The game was in celebration of current Liberian President, former World, European and African Footballer of the Year, George Weah who used the occasion to retire his famous number 14 shirt for Liberia.

President Weah featured briefly for Lone Star in the encounter, and his every touch on the ball was hailed with loud roar from the fans.

Two first-half goals through Henry Onyekuru and Simeon Nwankwo sealed the win for Gernot Rohr’s men despite a late penalty from Liberia’s No.9.


Onyekuru fired a long-range strike to hand the Super Eagles the lead after 12 minutes before Nwankwo doubled the lead for the three times Africa champions from close range after he powered in Oghenekaro Etebo’s corner kick.

At halftime coach Gernot Rohr made four substitutions replacing Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Chidozie Awaziem, Wilfred Ndidi, and Jamilu Collins for Daniel Akpeyi, Olamilekan Adeleye, Kelechi Iheanacho, and Ebube Duru.

Nwankwo had the ball in the back of the net in the 61st minute but his goal was ruled out for offside.

The Crotone striker also missed a sitter in the 82nd minute when he failed to hit the target from a cut back from Samuel Kalu.

Rohr also replaced Kelechi Nwakali, Onyekuru, Nwankwo for Samuel Kalu, Mfon Udoh and Sunday Adetunji for the last six minutes of the game.

In the 88th minute, the referee awarded a penalty to Liberia after Rotherham defender, Semi Ajayi was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the box.

The resultant spot-kick was converted by Liberia’s No.9.

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  • Ikeben 4 years ago

    Well done Super Eagles. Selection headache for Rohr. Now you can see clearly that Simmy and Onyekwere can score goals when given the opportunity. So we don’t have to keep waiting for Ighalo. We will see the starters for Libya match. I guess Kalu has already broken into the first 11. Fly Eagles

  • Ikenna 4 years ago

    My sentiments exactly @ Ikeben, we can see that Nwankwo and Onyekuru can score goals when given the chance to play. But for some Rohr keeps having hope in ighalo despite his continuous wasting of chances!! Samuel Kalu, Onyekuru, and Simy can take this team to a new level. And when iwobi comes back, Aina. Nigeria can easily win these remaining for games in the qualifying series. BUUTTTT, can Rohr tactically deploy these players effective remains to be seen. God bless

  • Daniel Akpabasket must concede whether by default or by error. Somebody sha must score you. Issorite

  • Ayphillydegreat 4 years ago

    I sincerely hope GR will now get enough grip on his team from now on. He must have realized the grave mistake he made against Argentina by bringing in Ighalo for Iheanacho instead of Simy Nwankwo. His ball holding technic as a central striker is superb and he can also make good use of the ball by finding his teammates. He could’ve scored two had he not misdirected Kalu’s cross in the second half.

    Onyekuru played with a lot of commitment and vigor. That was a sensational debut goal by a top forward. That will boost his confidence going forward. He has indeed cemented his place in the SuperEagles with that cracker of a goal. I hope Ighalo”s days in the SuperEagles are numbered.

    The midfield combo of Obi and Ndidi pivot seems to be the ideal combo for the SuperEagles. The way they dovetail for each other is a joy to watch and I hope all the ones castigating Joel Obi will now begin to see his value in the team. Obi and Ndidi are Nigeria’s most consistent midfielders in Europe over the past 3 seasons and it shows in their combination play. Perhaps not many African countries can boast of such consistency at Europe’s elite league.

    Nwakali was ok but he seems too early for him to break into that midfield therefore, captain Mikel Obi or Alex Iwobi could be the ideal third man with Ndidi and Obi in the pivot. That combo would’ve been the perfect one at the Mundial. Kalu definitely have walked straight into SuperEagles first 11, Jamilu Collins is the left back we need at the moment not Idowu. Ajayi also seems like a really solid defender. SuperEagles of hope is on the horizon. #FLY LIKE AN EAGLE INTO THE FUTURE#

    • Simy missed a goal that even Aiyegbeni would have scored, yes he got a goal, but he is not the answer to Ighalo. A centre forward that scores as little as they both do are not good enough for Nigeria. Ighalo one goal in 2018 (penalty) and Simy one goal against a team that had a 51 year old (George Weah) and a 48 year old in the team is nothing to crow about.

      And Joel NEVER raises his game for the Super Eagles. He looked disinterested. As did Nwakali.

      The last two games have shown that Kalu, Onyekuru, Musa, Ogu, Ndidi, Etebo and Collins, belong in the starting line up alongside Troost, Balogun and a right back (Aina?). There are the 10 outfield players in a 4:3:3 formation or a 3:5:2 formation

      The problem now (as always) is the bench: Awaziem (if not rightback until Aina returns) and Semi Ajayi have their place on the bench for defence, maybe Idowu can revert to right back on the bench until Tyrone returns next year and we look for a proper left back. Iwobi and Nwakali should make it, but up front a choice has to be made for substitute strikers. I still cannot see how Nwakaeme, Bonaventure and Eleke are not better than Nwankwo, Ighalo and Iheanacho. At least those three know where the net is.

      Once we get Moses Simon, Kayode Olanrewaju fit then they should slot right in to attack and it’ll be academic anyway

      • You guys keep mentioning names. I still ask – Have u seen them play? I know that I’ve watched all of them play and I can tell you that Blessing Eleke is not SE material; Bonaventure is good but he plays the same position as Onyekuru, Simon and Kalu; Nwakaeme is cool. Having said that, I don’t think they are better than Nacho (and Ighalo to some extent). As much as I hate to admit, I actually think Ighalo is the best out-and-out striker we have now until we start to groom Sadiq/Success/Oshimen.

      • Ayphillydegreat 4 years ago

        I’m not sure you watched the game @BigD. If you do you will know that Obi was our best player in the middle yesterday. He won at least 5 free kicks for his team. His combo with Ndidi yesterday was the best I’ve seen a SuperEagles midfield. Ogu played ok by defending 51 year old George Weah. Yes it’s an exhibition match, but for me I saw some positives. Obi and Ndidi combo is better than Onazi and Ndidi combo or even Etebo and Ndidi combo IMHO. Nwakaeme played against Algeria last year and he was a complete flop. Eleke to me is not better than Simy. Maybe only Dennis can be given a chance, but he can’t displace anybody on either wings on the attack at the moment. I will implore him start with the U23 team first before thinking about the SuperEagles.

        • Joel Obi was playing against a 48 year old and a 51 year old. It is easy to look good particularly if you are playing with shackles so that you don’t start a diplomatic incident by injuring a countries president.
          I did watch the match and will watch it again tonight to see if I can see what you saw.
          For me, he looked too relaxed for a player that has never done well in the SE shirt and is looking to stay in the squad

          • Ayphillydegreat 4 years ago

            Did you say Obi has never done well in a SuperEagles jersey? Then you must be watching him for the first time. I’m sure you never saw him play under Siasia. If not for injuries he should be the SuperEagles captain by now. Obi never played against Weah and Debbah. Debbah and Weah played in the attack it was Ogu who actually played against them. Obi was the best destroyer in the midfield yesterday. I’ve watched the match over and over again. He was our best midfield player yesterday. I will take him ahead of Onazi and Etebo to partner Ndidi all day everyday. It’s not easy to be playing in the Scudetto for about a decade. And he’s got nothing to prove in the SuperEagles to anyone.

          • Ok lets agree to disagree. The Liberian strikers (George and Debbah) would have had to get past Joel in order to face our defender (Ogu) on the left of field (strikers on the right of their own side) and the fact that a 51 year old and a 48 year old were able says it all. But the game is over now.

            I have been watching the Super Eagles since they were called the Green Eagles and the first match that made me pay attention was our world cup qualifier in 1977, when Odiye scored the own goal that sent Tunisia through.
            I have no other team apart from the Super Eagles and Joel has not been in any of our “successful sides”. He started playing for Nigeria in 2011 and we only won two out of six games he was in the squad (against Madagascar who are no better than Seychelles) and against Ethiopia. He was not picked for our AFCON qualifying nor winning team and not picked for the world cup 2014. He was fit for selection January and February 2013 (injured early January for 7 days and then in September) but not selected and injury free during the world cup months of 2014 but not selected.
            His stats whilst playing for SE are 5 starts, 2 on the bench: won 2 (as above) drawn 3. Stats don’t lie. He has not been better than others in the first team. No need comparing him to Etebo, they are different players. His only saving grace is that he is left footed and we need natural left footed players on the left of field. Its no coincidence that right footed players are preferred to him on the left of midfield.

            But as I said, let us agree to disagree, you’l not convince me and I doubt that I’ll convince you

        • Ayphillydegreat 4 years ago

          You already know that. No one can convince me. And you have a right to your opinions. Obi didn’t play on the left side of midfield it was actually Nwakali who mostly play on the left side of midfield. I don’t know where you get your stats from. I know for sure that Obi had played close to 30 caps for the SuperEagles. Whenever he put on the SuperEagles jersey SuperEagles rarely lost. Your stats of 2 wins and 3 draws is even fascinating for a player who hardly was in the team over the last decade. In 2014 it was because he never wanted to share is match bonus with the coaching staff that’s why he was dropped. If you actually know football will you take Gabriel Reuben to the WorldCup ahead of Obi?

          • You are contradicting yourself, in one statement you say

            ” close to 30 caps for the SuperEagles” and in another you say
            “for a player who hardly was in the team over the last decade”. He was involved in 7 (two on the bench) competitive matches for Nigeria and 7 friendlies. I gave stats for the matches he was involved in competition:

            March 2011 vs Ethiopia 4:0 win

            June 2011 vs Ethiopia 2:2 draw

            April 2011 vs Madagascar 2:0 win
            October 2011 vs Guinea 2:2 draw

            Feb 2012 vs Rwanda 0:0 draw

            And now this year all world cup matches on bench as well as Seychelles on the bench, did not participate.

            And yes, he operated on the left as well as on the right, wearing the number 15 jersey. Nether he nor Nwakali impressed me He was not in the squad from April 2013 (long before the world cup) right through until March 2018 with only one appearance on the bench after the world cup in September 2014 against South Africa.

            If you want to see hard stats the just google his name and the words “soccerway” or “Transfermarkt” and you will see every single stat about any player whatsover in world football and you will see that your statement “he hardly was in the team” is correct and the other “played over 30 matches” is completely inaccurate and a fantasy.

            Good night oh

          • Ayphillydegreat 4 years ago

            Actually I meant to say close to 20 caps. I never said he played over 30 caps for the SuperEagles. There’s a difference between close to 30 caps and over 30 caps. By the time he operated on the left side in the second half Weah was playing on the right side. So your statement that he played against Weah was not correct. And in all the stats you gave about his appearances for the SuperEagles. In his competitive appearances for the SuperEagles he did not lose a single match. What does that tell you? He may not impress you of which I don’t know which match you watched, everybody that watched the game knew he was our top player in the middle yesterday. Even though it was an exhibition match. Between him and Etebo or Onazi I will prefer Obi to pair Ndidi in our midfield pivot. And if he stays fit he’s definitely a mainstay in this present SuperEagles.

          • My final word: 
            Look at the calibre of teams, hardly “powerhouse countries of west or North Africa. There would be an outcry if we were beaten by the likes of Rwanda, Madagascar or Ethiopia. The only tough one in the list would have been Guinea and even they are not the strongest. Same way we expect to beat the Seychelles or Uganda. But hey!!
            And yes I did see Joel tackle Weah on the left side of the pitch more than once. I’d take John Ogu on the left side of midfield along side Ndidi and Etebo on the right anyday. Onazi reach to concentrate on him club career as does Joel

            Anyhow great debating with you, and we remain “agree to disagree”.  

          • Ayphillydegreat 4 years ago

            No probs bro. It was great debating with you, but I’ll take a player from the Scudetto as long as he remain fit ahead of a player from the isreali league all day everyday. No disrespect to Etebo, but he’s still playing in the Championship at the moment. I will take Obi ahead of him. At least I know for sure that Obi is legitimately 27 since he’s been in Italy since the age of 10. I can’t say that about any of Ogu, Onazi or Etebo.. Have a good day.

          • Lol, Chievo is not a top Scudetto team, they could easily be in Seria b next year. Ask Simy What happened with his scudetto team. Etebo might go up to the premiership next season. So their roles may be reversed. Coincidentally, Etebo plays with the same goalkeeper that kept for England against Switzerland. The championship is a tough league and has many national players.
            And as for age, we have seen that age means nothing if a person is able to produce on the pitch. Ask Papilo, Roger Milla, Siasia and Yekini. All performed creditably well despite their advanced ages and better than the “younger” team mates

          • Ayphillydegreat 4 years ago

            LMAO!! The championship is a tough league, but the Series B is not? How smart are you? The Serie B could be even as tough as the championship or even tougher. Top club or not Scudetto is Scudetto and he has played at inter, Parma and Torino. Like I said I will take a Scudetto player over an Isreali league player all day everyday.

          • @BigD, u have a point shah. Bcos Joel Obi is lucky to be playing at a mediocre club in Seria a is not enough to say he is better than a quicker and agile Etebo or even Ogu. So, when Joel Obi gets relegated with Chievo, what would he boyfriends now say.

  • Complete sports, this is commendable. Please keep up this prompt reportage on Eagles. 

    The Eagles performance and results against the Lone Star of Liberia is highly commendable and it goes beyond friendly for many Nigerians who would like to see the injection of new faces in the team. Simy
    and Onyekuru grabbing the goals is a prove that Nigeria Super Eagles have the quality materials and I really wished the game was televised live for Nigerians to assess the individual performance of the players. 

    Rohr should be commended for the initiative of parading the NPFL stars like Ebube, Mfon, Adeleye, and Adetunji.

    Going forward Nigerians would like to see Simy, Onyekuru, Kalu,Nwakali and Semi Ajayi being given opportunities  to prove their qualities.

  • Simmy, Onyekuru, Samuel Kalu, Ahmed Musa, and Iwobi should be given game time to boost their confidence and develope a working and lethal chemistry.

    I hope Rohr has gestionthe idea of Ighalo and Onazi for good, both should retire or be retired from the SE.

    Competent assistants should be appointed for Rohr.
    I would have suggested Amuneke and Many Garba, but both are unavailable now.

  • I won’t be appraising an exhibition match. I am sure both set of teams enjoyed themselves as the exhibition was a fitting tribute to arguably the greatest footballer-turn-politician that Africa has ever produced.

    Long live George Weah.

    • God bless you..baffles me when people start using a novelty match as yardstick..this is a game that featured 2 players that are in their 50s..while not taking anything way from the players that participated..i think we should chill and see how the games next month pans out before we can really say who is ready and eho is not ready to be in this team with Ighalo excluded though lol

    • Depends, chop knuckles joor. Although I still feel that if one wanted to hold down or force their way into the starting line up, it doesn’t matter the status of the match or the quality of opponent nor even the circumstances, being a professional means doing ones darnedest to impress and play better that whomever is occupying your spot either on the pitch or on the bench.
      Onyekuru did himself a massive favour yesterday as did Jamilu Collins 

  • Chairmanfemi 4 years ago

    @deo, who dey beg you to celebrate biko?? Had it been that the Super Eagles lost the so called Exhibition game, your analysis about how bad Coach GR and his team were will be as long as all the comments have read so far (combined). Abeg..A big shout-out to my OGBONGE Super Eagles. You have done well, Keep up the winning mentality.

    • Chairmanfemi, please don’t mind me a beg. Enjoy the victory . At the end of the day, a win is a win and brings good feel factor to those who want it to .

      Just like in certain boxing matches, I am just not a fan of exhibition games. Nothing personal.

      But well-done to the boys and thanks to President Weah for hosting us.


  • Chairmanfemi 4 years ago

    Thumbs up @deo

  • Exhibition match or practice match, if Ighalo as there, he would not have scored I bet u.

    If not any other thing, it shows we can score goals if Rohr forgets about Ighalo.

    After all, this Liberian team of young and old is ranked higher than Seychelles team.

  • I’m so happy with the performance.

    God bless Super Eagles.

    God bless Nigeria

    God bless NFF.

    And God Bless ME

  • Emma CB 4 years ago

    No video highlights of the game at all?

  • Omo9ja 4 years ago

    My own points of view. Do not blamed any of these players concerning yesterday match because the pitch wasn’t good at all. Still, they played well. The only problem now is Oga Rohr.

    He knew Ogu very well now. He has played under him against England, Algeria and now Liberia still, this man will bench him comes in October against Libya.

    Onyekuru is another player that Eagles should rely on but this man has no plans for them except we tells him what to do.

    I’m not a critic to no one but I say things as I seen it. Mr. Rohr is a father. He has a great attitude and he knows how to manage his team which is I respect him in that aspect but he should also please to have a trust in other players.

    I read a news saying that Imama, the assistant coach to coach Salisu Yusuff would be coming the head coach of the Super Eagles, if that would be the truth, what he’s qualifications?

    His high time NFF need to separate incompetent coaches from real one. They have to know what they are doing. We don’t want business men in charge of our NFF but sport men.

    Yes, we need our indigenous coaches to be among the coaching crew but they have to be really good in terms of coaching ability.

    Oga Rohr needed someone beside him who can say to him at every point in time that we don’t have time to check time, this is what we have to do to make Super Eagles a great team. Have great day my people. God bless Nigeria!!!

    • Imama achievements? As manager of Enugu Ranger won the NPFL title for the first time in 26 years. Before he joined them, they had not won the league since 1984. Many people reading and commenting have never seen Wnugu rangers win the title. That is huge.

      Also became highest paid manager in NPFL when he transferred to El Kanemi. So he is not small fry. He was very successful so he was brought into the national set up.

      Regarding the pitch, it was the same for every player on it. Yes it was an exhibition match, novelty match, but if I was looking to force my way into the SE team, I will make sure that I perform well regardless of the opposition or status of the match

  • Asoko Emmanuel 4 years ago

    Huge respect to everyone that has commented and will still comment on the super Eagles performance.But I will urge the stake holders on this platform to plead with fellow Nigerians to stop using destructive words against our players. It is not easy even though it’s a privilege to represent ones father land considering those factors that makes such representation difficult.There is a clear dichotomy between criticism and condemnation.While criticism strengthens and make u better,condemnation will kill your moral and affect the ability psychologically.Our condemnation led to the untimely retirement of Jayjay,Oliseh,Emenike and even more recently Victor Moses.Truth be said we are humans, as players you cannot have your form always there are times you will experience dip in form, that does not necessarily make you a bad player.Many of us are not coaches and are not in camp when the players are training under the watchful eyes of the coaches.A coach will select players for a match based on the performance in training and the game plan of the coach.For instance Ogu though, a very fine player plays in the same position as Indidi but cannot bench him due to the versatability of the later, he also will work hard to bench Onazi cos Onazi covers more ground than any other player on the pitch on a good day, watch the world cup qualifiers you will agree with me and further watch the match against Seychelles, Onazi one more tackles than any player on the pitch and even covered the lapses of the right full back greatly. Igalo will always remain our top9 first choice,under any coach cos of his ability to hold the ball and create chances for other players, again watch his matches during the qualifies.Have you wondered why a certain Guorou will remain in the first team of the world champion even at the world cup flanked by Impappe and the Althletico man,in spite of the fact that he does not score many goals for both club and country the coach will use him cos of his ability to distract opponent and still create chances for his team mates to score.Dont get me wrong am not saying the aforementioned players are the best in that position,the coach will use them ahead of others cos of the adaptive factor.Much as we love our team and desire that they do well we must criticise them constructively to get the best out of them.I even read one of the feed backs regard to Rohr as Idiot, that is not acceptable. The English team is just average but both the press and citizens have encouraged them and called forth excellence on them even when they perform poorly.Pls let not allow sentiment take the place of reasonableness.God bless you all.

  • Chairmanfemi 4 years ago

    I downloaded the match on youtube and for me, the man of the match was Henry Onyekuru. Though there commentators were poor, they kept on mentioning Nigeria’s No.11 ‘Chukwuemeka’ instead of Onyekuru. The commentator began to read out all the achievements of the youngster, right from his days at Belgium to Everton to Galatsary. There was a time he said “The Nigeria No.11 is really exposing how poor the Liberian defence is”. Great performance from him. Wilfred Ndidi and Joel Ohi’s midfield combo was superb and Kelechi Nwakali was crazy with his passes as usual. He wore the No.10 jersey and while I was watching him, I said inside of me “This is the Future 10”. Simy Nwankwo was good with his Hold-up play and was rightly supported by Onyekuru when it matters. Etebo kind of operated in a Free-role. He was everywhere. Jamilu Collins should be given the No.3 jersey cuz he’s got superb crosses with his left foot and supports attack perfectly. The Liberians were dominated from start to finish and the commentator said during the course of the match “we should have gone for our regular customers SERRIE LONE. Maybe we would have enjoyed the official retirement of the No.14 jersey better cuz the Nigerian team are far Superior”. Good job by the Super Eagles.

    • Ayphillydegreat 4 years ago

      You actually watched the match. Absolutely spot on.

  • Onwajunior 4 years ago

    Why didn’t they allow Weah to score? It was an exhibition match that the president played, as a courtesy we should have allowed him to score to sign off the event. I remember watching Maradona’s match, they made sure he scored. 

    • Both teams had different objectives. Nigeria is like Brazil to them. Did you hear the commentary? Somehow, if the defender allowed him to score it could cost that defender a place in the Super Eagles and maybe a good contract with a top club. If they knew they were going to play a novelty match, they should have just called up local players and not players who could end up jeopardising multi million dollar careers if they get injured or get caught up in a situation like breaking a president’s leg

      • Ghana boy 4 years ago

        Did you actually say that Nigeria is like Brazil to them? Why do you always over rate your Super Chickens?


        • Chairmanfemi 4 years ago

          Yes of course @Ghanaboy. It obvious you are jealous of that statement. And….watsup with your Ghanaian team that got humiliated by Kenya?

        • This Ghana boy, I’m going to drive you out of this place to your black whatever. If I see your comment here again, I’ll so e-pummel you, you’ll run with your tails between your legs. Ghana people eternally jealous of their bigger nephew and always trying to rub shoulders. I’ll be waiting…

        • Hahaha, did you watch the match? did you listen to the commentary? That’s what I based my comment on. It was apt. I watched it, I heard what was said. Even the commentators sounded over awed.
          We are building and there is massive progress since the world cup

  • top flops according to owngoalnigeria. (1etebo not lookin threaten. 2(nwakali. (3joel obi. (4simy missed a goal dat even buhari could hv score. onyekvru and jamiu stil de show.