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…
– DEFENDING SET PIECES STILL A WORRY
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.
– LACK OF CUTTING EDGE
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.
– WILFRED NDIDI RETURN VITAL
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.
– FRANCIS UZOHO CEMENTS NUMBER ONE SPOT
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.
– POOR START ONCE AGAIN
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.