Set-pieces Wahala And Other Takeaways From Super Eagles Defeat To Czech Republic

Set-pieces Wahala And Other Takeaways From Super Eagles Defeat To Czech Republic

After the Super Eagles suffered another defeat in their final warm-up game against Czech Republic ahead of the 2018 World Cup, Completesportsnigeria.com’s JAMES AGBEREBI highlights FIVE fallouts from the game…



The Super Eagles’ inability to deal with set pieces was again evident in the game against Czech Republic.

Despite parading a number of players with good heights like Mikel Obi, Francis Uzoho, John Ogu, Leon Balogun and William Troost-Ekong, they still struggle to find answers to crosses.

The Czechs were smart enough to notice that the Super Eagles players were finding it difficult to handle crosses hence they kept at it until they were rewarded.

Failure to address this will spell doom for the team especially against the likes of Croatia and Iceland.

Mega Millions Naija


During the qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup, the Super Eagles attack was a nightmare to their group opponents.

The team scored an impressive 11 goals in six games which helped secure the sole ticket in a group that had Cameroon, Algeria and Zambia. But in the five friendlies they have played, they have only scored three goals.

Against Czech, the Super Eagles struggled to break down and create goal scoring opportunities. The trio of Simeon Nwankwo, Ahmed Musa and Kelechi Iheanacho were introduced in the second half but failed to do any better than Odion Ighalo and Victor Moses who started.

This was evident in all the friendly games they played, which is a worrying signs going into the World Cup.


After missing Super Eagles’ friendlies against Democratic Republic of Congo and England due to a hamstring injury, Wilfred Ndidi finally returned.

Ndidi’s return is a good news for the Super Eagles especially in the midfield where question marks have been raised.

The Leicester City star played for 90 minutes against Czech Republic which is encouraging as the team head to Russia.


Judging by his performance against the Czechs, Francis Uzoho has finally cemented his place as the Super Eagles undisputed number one going to the World Cup.

Despite conceding early in the game, Uzoho made superb saves to keep the scoreline respectable.

He made a pointblank save in the first half and two quick saves in the space of one minute, tipping a long range effort over the bar and stopping a goal-bound shot with his outstretches legs to deny the Czechs from extending their lead.


Once again, the Super Eagles had a poor start to the game which saw the Czechs take advantage of.

They were slow off the blocks and were made to pay for it as the Czechs laid siege in the attacking third before Tomas Kalas’ goal.

Against England, it was the same story which saw the Eagles concede two first half goals.

They however grew into the game and had the upper hand in the second half but could not find the back of the net.

Copyright © 2021 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.



  • BabaDudu 4 years ago

    Argentina, Croatia & Iceland, attack the Super Eagles in the first half. Make sure you score; then in the second half, defend your goal.

    Once you do this, you have won because the Super Eagles are slow starters and very predictable.

    As for me, I have decided not to watch any of their matches in the World Cup because I don’t want to give myself unnecessarily heart attack. I will watch the highlights on YouTube.

    Just when I thought Nigeria has arrived with a good team; mtchewwwwwwww

    • Whether you watch or not who cares..lol.

      Go super eagles, silent the doubters.

    • Thank you Babadudu………They are slow and predictable! For me I av no hope in this team going forward or getting out of the group stage unless they change their pattern of play.

    • Dr. Drey 4 years ago

      Who u epp..??? Wetin u wan watch highlights for….? Abeg shift….we nor need u

  • Steve 4 years ago

    I keep wondering what they do in training ?..what is GR coaching to warrant all these messed up results ?..first of all, no accepted formation going forward , I expected by now they should have mastered the 5-3-2 formation which they used to beat Argentina, but no , they keep bringing out knew formation in the first half and changed to the said stated formation when things has gone bad!!..secondly , we do not have clear cut strikers , Ighalo is a ghost and has always been a ghost since last year .His kind of style can never give us the goals we want , most of our goals during the qualifier came from Victor Moses and Alex Iwobi.Therefore I expected GR to field in Simms for bot England match and Czech in order to discover him further , but rather ,he was forcing Ighalo on Nigeria and here is the result now ,nothing to show for it .My take , let Simmy start against croatia and I bet you , that will be a surprise package going forward .His kind of build and skill is what Nigeria need to surprise the world !!

    • Sunnyal 4 years ago

      I have watched Simy play, he is just a one directional average player.
      The problem is that you have got so many average players in the Nigerian team. Yet these players are overrated by you folks.

      • @Sunnyal thanks for this comment. Ppl keep saying Simmy. The guy is average at best. I have watched him countless times and I’ve also watched Sadiq Umar..baffles me why the coach went with Simmy. Umar is average but he’s deadlier than Simmy and Ighalo combined. In all his matches he keeps defenders on their feet, meanwhile with Ighalo defenders can sleep and defend at the same time. Also, I don’t know how Uzoho displaced Ezenwa. I’m of the opinion that Ezenwa shoukd be our number 1.
        Well, the coach is the one that sees them in training so I may be wrong. But I remember watching the Super Eagles train at the abuja stadium and Yakubu was like the best player, scoring world class goals, bullying defenders only for him to constantly be the worst player during games. My take is that the Iheanachos, Ighalos, Obis etc. are already used to our players and they shine like world class players during trainings but when they meet different players they flop!

        • Israel Akinlawon 4 years ago

          @ Onwajunior, no foreign coach, especially Germans will prefer goalkeepers like Ezenwa, Enyeama, Ajiboye, and the likes who are too short in height. Remember that Berti Vogts, another German came to Nigeria in 2008 and dropped Enyeama to the bench – preferring Austin Ejide is a tall goalkeeper. That is their policy in Europe. The greatest disadvantage of Ezenwa is his height. In contrast, Uzoho is very tall and you can see the way he deals with crosses and aerial balls, and statistically, Uzoho has not done badly till date. Let’s keep on supporting this team, GR is deceiving the spies with all those friendlies, you will see the true colours of Super Eagles against Croatia. I rest my case.

  • Djeniko 4 years ago

    Maybe Gernot Rohr has his plans up his sleeves by not fielding Nwankwo Simeon. Odion Ighalo is not delivering at the moment. I just hope Simy will not be march rusty. Meanwhile, we can criticize now but when the WC starts proper, we sink and swim with the Super Eagles. They are our own. @BabaDudu, look at the WC as entertainment. Although we take sides and support our team, do not take it overboard as if there will be no other WCs again. Many more to come. So don’t allow our loss give you heart attack.

  • Hmmm.

    The signs are not looking good. Unless much needed improvements are injected in key departments of the Super Eagles, then, those who have predicted all along that Nigeria will go to the World Cup solely to make up the numbers may just be proved right afterall!

    What have we seen thus far? brilliant in world cup qualification; poor in world cup preparation.

    Even coach Rohr is quoted as saying:
    “we are not ready for the World Cup.”

    What have we deduced from majority of the pre-world Cup friendly matches? the Super Eagles attack has no bite, the midfield is lacking in creativity, the defence/goalkeeping is riddled with holes and the bench has ‘no winning transformational capabilities’.

    Yet, there are those of us that remain defiant.

    Defiant that the results of these friendles will prove irrelevant; defiant that coach Rohr will manufacture a winning strategy for the World Cup ; defiant that the players in camp will step up their game.

    Unfortunately, the outcome of these friendles have dampened morale.

    But, is the purpose of friendly matches not to find flaws and correct them before the tournament proper?

  • tucci 4 years ago

    we dont have business in world cup i give up on this team.

  • Henry 4 years ago

    How did Joel Obi make this team, why is kelechi nwakali not in this team?

  • I’ll be disappointed to hear any news of any Nigerian fan dies of heart attack when the world cup starts. My Observation on this Team….they have shown they can play together, Every Second half of their games have said it all (Argentina,England, Serbia), They are the future. The highest surprise I’m expecting them to pull at the world cup is to outplay some countries but..they won’t go far and they won’t be disgraced.
    I wish Rohr can continue after the tournament no matter wat happen. All we need is little changes….e.g, 1) Akpeyi for Maduka Okoye (another German born goalie) and may be Ikeme returns , 2) Udokhai and Akpoguma for weak defenders. by then, I don’t expect balogun to be starter not because he’s not good but cos of his age. Though,  he’s one of the best we have now. Also Echiejile for Aina or a Better left back. 3) Onazi for Sanusi ,  Mikel for Nwakali, Ogu for Eze. Ighalo for Dessers,  Musa for Obaze,  Simon, Onyekuru and so on. We have future but pls. ….don’t depend on too much miracle, It just can’t happen.

    • If Nigeria should have a woeful outing at the world cup, then the future of Gernot Rohr as coach should be up for discussion and immediate review.

      • Steve 4 years ago

        Yesso!!….the future of GR should be discussed if we messed up at the world cup .GR is his own nemesis, those players you mentioned above are up for grap or looked into ,but he decided to be loyal to those players that qualified us to the world cup ,certainly things are not done that way .We have no bench and we have no strikers , then what do you expect at the world cup , miracle?

    • Chima E Samuels 4 years ago

      All these replacements will come and do the worst. Let’s accept it we are not good enough simple

    • Dr. Drey 4 years ago

      Name dropping again. That was how they told us Mikel Agu was the best kept secret by FC porto…dude couldnt make the olympic team and has been shitty for the SE. Same with Joel Obi. I bet some people would have plot to assasinate GR if he didnt list joel in his initial 30 man list. Sanusi, Dessers, Okoye etc. if these guys were better than those we have now….we wouldnt only be reading about them in newspapers

  • PapaFem 4 years ago

    Anybody that thinks Rohr will give us a world cup winning team in two years is living in illusion. And I will candidly advise that we don’t expect too much from this team. SE under Coach Rohr is still evolving. It will take him at least four years to build a solid team. I never knew the Nwakali brothers, Usman Muhammed and Musa Muhammed could acquaint themselves well against a high profile team like Atletico Madrid, even though their qualities have always been there for all to see as junior national team players. It takes a lot of friendly matches with so many players tested and engaged for us to see the real Super Eagles. Westerhof used over 140 players before producing the 1994 golden team. Genot Rohr didn’t have that luxury. Most of the matches he has played for us are competitive matches and it is save to use established players than pepper the team with new ones. I knew he saw what he had never seen in Super Eagles team B against Athleti but it was too late to effect a change. Even if we did not do well at the mundial, the NFF should retain him because he has the potentials to turn things around and build a formidable team.

  • PapaFem 4 years ago

    The only weakness of that German is rigidity. He could be unbending with selections and choice of tactical formations. In the last four matches, there is no justification for starting Shehu ahead of Ebuehi; playing Iwobi from wings when he could be more effective from central midfield; electing to play our best formation in the second half; making Idowu feel he owns the number position and so on. Must we concede a goal before we react? He should make all positions in that team competitive. Moses hasn’t contributed anything meaningful since the match against England. Same goes for Iheanacho and the likes of Onazi. We don’t have much time left. Even if we are not going to win the WC, we shouldn’t lose a single match without a fight. The continent looks up to us for a wonderful outing.

    • Chima E Samuels 4 years ago

      The last time I spoke of Moses to focus on geling with the team alongside mikel some sort of fan came here crucifying me saying all sort of words that do I have anything against Moses? Without reading my point unlike other countries e.g Cristiano ronaldo when they get to their country extended holiday they get straight to business of gelling with others not the tweeting or big boys thing. Only in Nigeria Iheanacho plays like big boy and die for Leicester Moses will stroll into the team and Mikel will have visa holiday smh

    • Sincerity is better in this circumstance than underhandedness, a team that can put a smile on Nigerian faces is yet to be emerged. Expect nothing from a team that does not have aggressive players who can single handedly takes the masses responsibility, the present supper eagles can not hold water at the international visibility. This is because, they are physically intimidating but mentally prompted to subordination.one hiding thing is that, football is not only physical activity but highly mental. In fact,the mental aspect is prior to the physical,it is the inner that makes outer.in the field we don’t have much problem with the defence, midfield is highly problematic, the forward is just a definition of total emptiness! Odiom Igalo perform any reasonable function in any serious battle.

  • Mr vick 4 years ago

    I thank God that we have come to realise that our expectations for this team have been blown overboard, but am still of the school of thought that we have a decent team to navigate through the group stages of the world cup atleast and i believe is achievable. The team have atleast eight(8) days to fine tune preparation before our match against croatia and if we can look back to the past we will understand that we lost most of our friendly matches(especially the last matches before our opening world cup matches) leading to our best world cup outings in 1994, 1998 and 2014 unlike in 2002 and 2010 we won most of our friendly matches and especially our penultimate matches before the world cup proper. Also all this football figures(e.g sepp blatter, mourinho, amokachi, adepoju) tipping us to do well are not fools.
    #lets still believe
    #soar super eagles
    #the wing of african pride

  • These ones saying they will not watch any nigerian match in d world cup with be d 1st in front of d tv. Confused, misguided hypocrite. If we follow ur line of thinking, then all those teams like germany, spain, belgium, england and argentina that failed to win all their friendly games will be disgraced in d world cup. Against all odds Ur country qualified for d world cup in a group that had them as d least in fifa rankings it is pertinent to be reminded bcos most of u have short memories, now in d world cup we are also in a group were we are d least ranked team, apart from mourinho I’ve not heard of any foreigner that expects us to survive that group. The world has already written us off thus it is very unbecoming and disturbing that a fellow nigerian will decide to be so negative with respect to our chances of making it out of that group. All of a sudden mikel obi is a bad footballer and should not be in d world cup, if he was dropped u will be d 1st to scream blue murder. Say what u want to say, if u were in rohrs shoes u will not in a few days to d world cup abandon d team that qualified u for it, just bcos u’ve discovered another team that played well in one game and still lost. u can scream till u are blue in d face, rohr has made d right move in that respect. U dont want to be sentimental and I ask; “is it a crime to be sentimental?” if u dont support ur team in d world cup who else will u support. Even if we had lost 10-0 in austria, d super eagles still has my unwavering support. Swim or sink I am with d super eagles.

    • Dr. Drey 4 years ago

      2 wraps of hot fresh pounded yam and bitter leaf soup with orisirisi for u on my bill dia. U just spoke my mind

  • Mr vick 4 years ago

    Its very ok by me that we lose all our friendly matches and know that we are not yet there and work harder and be more hungry and angry for success, than to win all our friendly matches and be unnecessarily over confident, we all can remember what over confidence did to us in 1998 against denmark.
    #i still believe
    #soar super eagles
    #the wing of african pride

  • Onyeagoro Johnson Chima 4 years ago

    The issue is that all these players people are clamouring to be included in the team like Nwakali brothers may not even perform when given the chance. Just because they played under-strenght Athletico Madrid and people judged them to be excellent. The only thing wrong with the team is lack of proper formation and the link from the midfield to the strikers. Uzolo is the best goalkeeper on ground. The goals conceded are not his fault. The defense line is the problem. If the defense line is not coordinated,there is nothing the keeper could do as he is exposed to much risk. Again, we have the materials only that they should not be played out of position.

  • The super eagles can make a mark. All they need is to be proactive i.e attack from the first blast of the whistle. This approach unsettles the opponents and makes scoring easier.
    Another point is that Etebo should start alongside Mikel and Ndidi in midfield. Success is not meant for specific teams..determination and organisation is the key.

  • @Emmy thank you very much you have said it all. Nigerians are hard to please telling the coach to disband the team that qualified them for the competition in favour of nt tested one.Like say there is Ronaldo or Messi among them.They have forgetting what happened in 2002 during Onigbinde. Some people were even saying the coach is not good again. I pray and hope Nigeria will have a great outing at the world cup

  • Greenturf 4 years ago

    It’s hard to know what to expect.A lot of uncertainties surrounds this team.
    However,I’m of the opinion that something good could still come out of this team.Because we lost friendlies in the past and still did well in past tournaments is more or less stereotype from fans who are seeking for hope desperately even at the back drop of a sinking team.This fortune may not be consistent less you not get heart broken.My advice is prepare for the worse and enjoy the tournament notwithstanding the performances of the team you support.
    Meanwhile,Russia would come and go and the experience should help us going forward and continuity is the key.The coaching crew should be retained no matter the outcome of the tournament because as at today no Nigerian is capable of managing the super eagles.
    Apparently the gaffer has seen the grey areas in the team and would profer solutions going forward.
    The subject matter here is stick with the coaching crew irrespective of the outcome in Russia.Continuity is key to success especially from an incorruptible group.

  • Omo9ja 4 years ago

    To God be the glory

    I want to use this medium to greet CSN, NFF, coaches of the Super Eagles and of course my Forum mates. Good job to each and everyone of us. We only have one goal, we wants our Super Eagles fly higher like never before.

    As the world cup is around the corner, everyone is getting prepared to see our darling Super Eagles doing very well at the tournament.

    My advice to you all, do not right off the team yet. It’s 50-50 chance. But one thing is certain, is idea we make it out of the group or we go home.

    I can tell you guys that the coach knows what he is doing and he will upset some big name at this year world cup.

    Coach Rohr is very smart. I repeat, he is a smart coach who doesn’t want to exposed all of his tactics before the tournament.

    However, some of us are getting confused but this is why He, coach Rohr refused to use 3-5-2 information.
    For now, the coach is putting huge pressure on our opponents believe it or not, they are so concerned about Nigeria now.

    The only worry I have now is luck and God Marcy. I know that God will favour us.

    Another thing is FIFA official, Referees. They know that Nigeria is going to do very well at this year world cup and they will do whatever it takes to stop our beloved Super Eagles.

    Like I have said before, do not put too much hope on this team. Even, coach Rohr confirmed it that his team is not ready for world cup yet. The team is tired. For sure, they will get some rest before our first match. All the same, let’s support our team and so that they will bring us joy comes on Saturday.

    @baba dude, long time my man. You have a good point. I said something similar to your comment after the England match. Let’s take it easy and no room for heart attack.

    It shall be well with us all. God bless Nigeria!!!

  • Israel Akinlawon 4 years ago

    You people should relax on the choice of Uzoho as the No. 1 goalkeeper. No foreign coach, especially Germans will prefer goalkeepers like Ezenwa, Enyeama, Ajiboye, and the likes who are too short in height. Remember that Berti Vogts, another German came to Nigeria in 2008 and dropped Enyeama to the bench – preferring Austin Ejide who is a tall goalkeeper. That is their policy in Europe. The greatest disadvantage of Ezenwa is his height. In contrast, Uzoho is very tall and you can see the way he deals with crosses and aerial balls, and statistically, Uzoho has not done badly till date. Let’s keep on supporting this team, GR is deceiving the spies with all those friendlies, you will see the true colours of Super Eagles against Croatia. I rest my case.

  • Chido 4 years ago

    @papafem Godbless u more for d write up ,GR has surpassed all expectations within a short period of time,kudos to nff,fans n d sports confraternity,irrespective of d outcome he should be allowed to continue cos he has proven to us that he has what it takes to tinker SE,GR isnow turning SE into a modern day team dat switches pattern wit ease,lemme ask u guys 2014 pre worldcup friendly can we d fans confidently interpret SE pattern after 1st half?secondly some of our friendly matches were played indoors,but today all our friendly r played outdoors just to keep us entertained n give us a glimpse of our squad fitness n some fans r here saying a sorts of things abeg park one side,me I be die hard fan of SE and am gonna support them all d way wether them lose or win,u expect GR  to xpose d strength of his team so his opponent will know how to cage him na GR is a very shrewd dude n understands d game of football more better than us d fans he is an European n wants to succeed we d fans should know that no European nation will giv GR d opportunity 9ja gave him,in a nutshell he wants to succeed more than you think

  • OLISA 4 years ago


  • Peters Payne 4 years ago

    My say here for now is, both the NFF, coaches and SE deserve some accolades…if this continues we’ll go far in WV. Constructive discipline in the team. Go and conquer the world SE

  • V moses chang wing & passing to odas

  • I watched the Eng Vs Nig game at Wembley last Saturday and while I was disappointed we didn’t win I felt the coach was still tinkering with the super Eagles selection and still have a lot of hope for the team. I’m the perennial optimist and I think the boys are going to do well in Russia. Look at the English team arguably one of the best they’ve had since Italia 90…what usually happens to their pre-tournament games? They win everything and fail to deliver on the big stage. I certainly will not compare our boys with the likes of JJ, Yekinni, Aminike, Kanu and Amokachi but remember these guys played together for a very long time and they gelled. As the coach GR said we are not ready… I’m not sure if he’s playing mind games but he has a plan to execute and I promise you our boys will soar. One point I will make though… not sure why Ighalo was on the pitch he was sluggish and not quite in tune with  other members of the team and for a striker I expected him to do better. Ahmed Musa in the few minutes he came on had a greater impact than Ighalo…later found out he was observing the Ramadan. 
    Support the Super Eagles My people and keep the flag flying- we shall do well in Russia. Up NaIja

  • Isdore 4 years ago

    I think Etebo should start ahead of Onazi in the middle alongside with Ndidi and Mikel. this Eto of a guy brings more of attacking minded team of super eagles than Onazi….Etebo provide stability in our midfield with his pace and enery, he has a good passing accuracy, He is presently better than Onazi in the midfield…..I hope Ebuehi start ahead of Shehu at the right back too…