Six Takeaways From Super Eagles Victory Over Iceland

Six Takeaways From Super Eagles Victory Over Iceland

Following the Super Eagles impressive win against Iceland in their second Group D game of the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup, completesportsnigeria.com’s JAMES AGBEREBI analyses the fallouts from the game…


In the game against Croatia, the Super Eagles filed out in a 4-3-3 formation which backfired as they were out-thought and overrun.

But against Iceland, coach Gernot Rohr decided to switch to a 3-5-2 formation which yielded the needed result.

Unlike in the first game against Iceland, the Super Eagles had more bodies in the midfield
which gave Oghenekaro Etebo the licence to bomb forward and cause the opposition problems.

Also the defense had more protection in front of them which afforded them the chance to carry out their task.

And in attack, the Icelandic defenders had their hands full containing two quick forwards in Ahmed Musa and Kelechi Iheanacho who tormented them non-stop.


The Super Eagles showed that they have learnt their lessons on the issue of defending set-pieces and dangerous crosses.

Prior to the game against Iceland, there were fears that the Super Eagles would find it tough containing the Europeans who are notorious when it comes to taking advantage of set-pieces.

But they came up against a Super Eagles side that showed they have learnt from their previous mistakes as they dealt with everything that was thrown at them by the Icelandic players.

Francis Uzoho punched/caught dangerous set plays while the defenders played their part in heading away almost everything flung into the box.


Following a below-par first-half display, former England international and ex-Tottenham Hotspur manager Tim Sherwood (speaking as a pundit on SuperSport analysing the game between Nigeria and Iceland), posited that the Super Eagles is known for being a direct team, not prone to possession-based style of play.

And true to his analysis, the Super Eagles went more direct in the second half and were rewarded with Ahmed Musa scoring two goals.

The change in approach was evident early in the second half as Oghenekaro Etebo had the Super Eagles’ first attempt on goal as he drove straight at the opposition defence but was unlucky to see his low shot saved.

But it was a sign of things to come as the Super Eagles kept going direct, abandoning the idea of just keeping possession.


Though the Super Eagles got the all-important win against Iceland, they had to wait until the second half before going all out for the win.

It was the same problem they had against Croatia which saw them concede first and never recovered.

Against the best teams, it will be difficult to find a way back as Croatia demonstrated. And going into the game against Argentina, they cannot afford to be on the back foot from the start because it might be disastrous.


Before the introduction of Tyronne Ebuehi, the left wing-back position of the Super Eagles manned by Bryan Idowu was ineffective.

Idowu was more content in carrying out his defensive duties rather than bombing forward to offer support to the Super Eagles’ attack.

His inability to move forward made the Super Eagles wing-back position lopsided as Victor Moses was the only one doing what was expected of him which led to the opening goal.

But with the introduction of Ebuehi, that was finally resolved as he got forward to assist in the attack and also did his defensive duties, bar giving away the penalty.


Following the decision of Gernot Rohr to switch to a back three which saw the introduction of Kenneth Omeruo, there was sanity and stability in the Super Eagles defence.

Omeruo being part of the defence gave the duo of Leon Balogun and William Troost-Ekong the freedom to occasional go upfield as he was always the last man to mop things up.

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  • emmanuel mnawuan 3 years ago

    gud job,i urge them to go for a win against Argentina,i think this is the right time we have to break the jinx and it will pain them twice,aim higher,work harder you will achieve better,if we go for a win we may get it or get a draw,which i think it will be ok for us,#naijateamstrong.

  • Omo9ja 3 years ago

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhh draw ke? If we draw the match, we should forget it. Therefore, it is Tuesday or never. The 3 points is at stake. Do we think that for Baba Maradona to be talking like that na joke?

    I said it earlier today that Eagles must not wait till second half before they play their game. We must play the game fearless and dictating the game from start to finish if we really mean the business in Russia.

    Please my dear forum mates and my people out there, do not pray for a draw against Argentina. If we do, it means that we have to wait for the out come of Croatia and Iceland match but if we can get the job done by beating Argentina then, we don’t need to wait for nobody to help us out.

    Let’s dream big….because, for Eagles to be Super, they must beating the best teams to be champions. Worry less, pray for Super Eagles and they work hard then SuperEagles will conquer the world. Simple arithmetic.
    God bless Nigeria!!!

    • stanley 3 years ago

      Thanks all analyst. 
      I felt fulfilled that our voices are heard and taken by the SE coaches. 
      Am happy we played Argentina before and the fear is over. So SE will play them direct. 
      I suggest we bring in a natural left back with experience like Echijile to man that left back against Argentina  it seems shaky. He can hold onto the ball better than others. 
      All other areas against Iceland were perfect. 
      Wish Eagles a happy qualification to next round in Jesus name, Amen. 

  • Bestsports. 3 years ago


    Nigerians forbids you begging our moses or mikel to change position and play their real club position. Na pride and prestigious responsibility representing nigeria our country!
    Henceforth musa must play 90mins no story!
    OGU, JOEL OBI AND ONAZI MATUIDI TB JOSHUA are three the set of defensive midfielders which isn’t normal to be on the bench. Atleast one spot should have been occupied by a certain Henry onyekuru of Andelecht! Or imoh Ezekiel of las palmas! Those players can play from the flanks and strikers position. Missed opportunities because of our defensive orientated herr rohr! We saw improved set piece performance but SUPEREAGLES should consolidate more on set piece AND penalties avoidance schemes! And how to prevent or stop it. IGHALO after 21 games 4 mere goals shouldn’t be trusted to get acquitted with goals scoring only at the highest level of football. SIMPLY put simmy should be prepared with immediate effect please.


    but you know we have to express worries and fears so that our dear super Eagles will sit up and observe our points during the games!
    IGHALO should be politely relegated to training sessions material!
    Elderson Ejiejile should be considered ahead of out of sought and purpose iduwo!
    Simmy nwankwo should be considered a reliable substitute based on extremely tough Italian serie A!
    Our group D is NOW more a complicated cases scenario all 4 team have mathematical chance of qualifying.
    Nigeria destiny firmly in our hands!
    Argentina match will be explosive and Animated!
    Dump ARGENTINA ass outta of WORLD CUP will finally clean all their fuck up because they’ve been shining with us previously. So Super eagles this is your world cup proper final match. To loss yet again to Argentina will be Nigeria in Coma and hospitalized! The only one option is victory! Do not play for draw because you might lose. Target an outright win then worst cases scenario is draw afterall the referee are used to falling FOR ARGENTINA theatrical experience tricks in and around the penalty box pls watch out.
    Against Argentina who are individually better than nigeria we must not expect any relaxed moments. Difficult sha but if they’re focus including our COACH we SHALL sail and soar through.

    Oliseh should be told to bounce and fuck outta here damn it. Mediocre administration is a norm in Africa but dude foolishly abandon us and betrayed our love and support for him many years impromptu! We use to love oliseh so much but he forgot EVERYTHING and left our super Eagles in more disarray and we subsequently fail to qualify for the cup of nations. Oliseh NOW wants to identify with TEAM? Common sense no common for oliseh at all.

    Congrats to all Nigerians. Na die i be dey! That musa need to be kicked in d ass a little bit.
    Balogun started shakingly and so sluggish and slow but later grew himself into the flow of the game. Against Argentina who are now a sleeping lion who want to quickly wake up before going hmmm, if balogun continue to sleep and sluggishly slow ARGENTINA and the little fellow might score 2 goals before balogun remember to be more assured.
    That second half team with Ebuehi who got some experience NOW, must start against THAT messi team! Omeruo is solid and must be more ruthless and decisive together with Ekong because that Messi team na brutal attacking lions!
    Uzoho is ok but my dear against messi Argentina uzoho will be very busy let him prepare for steady onslaught impromptu! Uzoho should study AND practice set piece AND penalty stop! Uzoho is expert in quickly diving wrong direction even before the ball is kicked! After training pls let uzoho still train 2hrs more for penalty stop and set piece! Sleeping lion ARGENTINA will wake up against Nigeria even a fool knows that.
    If Nigeria try that rubbish first half against ICELAND with Argentina hmmm, we will lose! That first half no single shot on goal, no deep penetrating runs behind defenders! No bite no urgency and no trying of things and they were afraid to make mistake! Maybe too stifling orders and instructions given by Rohr but if game plan ain t working instead of waiting for second half talk to change plans why not try things on ur own? Na GOD coaches be?
    Ola aina could have been a better iduwo because that iduwo is not super eagles material at all. EJIEJILE should be managed in his place quickly! Oh no what a missed opportunity for Chelsea ola aina because of just russia language speaker we have disappointed ourselves and the trust of ola aina by dropping him even when we all saw him against Argentina friendlies That he is GOOD and promising! Nigeria go Russia go learn or speak language? Iduwo has no business in that team at all. Ola aina Nigerians are very sorry! We love you Ola. Truth lives forever! Against Argentina pls super Eagles must never loss that match infact with their lives they must fight from the first second. Tell all the players if they go dey admire Messi they will lose! I pity slow balogun and mikel against messi! Uzoho must prepare for the saves of his life! For all eleven players?? Na war front. Even if we loss we’d want to loss been proud we fought hard and did THE right things. IHEANACHO CAN HURT OTAMENDI! IF OUR DEFENCE CAN POCKET MESSI THEN EKONG AND CO WILL GET BETTER CLUBS SNIFFING AROUND THEM. BYE FOR NOW NIGERIA PLS VICTORY OR NOTHING.
    Good luck against Argentina.

  • SHAPHAN 3 years ago


  • I remember vividly my last comment on here where I suggested the following formation. Thank God the coach followed it and it paid off because Iceland made a mistake…and the formation gave us the advantage of owning the midfield which meant we controlled the defense and attack more from the midfield.
    My 3-5-2 was.
    Of course the coach tweaked it but if we want a victory against Argentina, we have to play them a pace game…and Iwobi has to feature in the forward 5…because Argentina will not know who to concentrate on..whether Moses, or Iwobi or Nacho or Musa or Etebo…who are all fast and caused problems for them in our friendly.

    I still think the coach needs to concentrate on the following:
    -Focusing on compressed half plays…so that the defenders control the play while looking up for a free forward.
    -Assisting attack from the back. We have two very quick forwards in Musa and Moses which we do not take advantage of and this got unravelled by that pass from Omeruo to Musa which resulted in our first goal.
    -Pay attention to our defenders putting the ball out of play rather than controlling the ball and putting it in play for an eagle.
    -Always look at the pysical advantage of things. This is something Keshi always did which we didnt notice. When playing european teams which have tall players, field fall players and instruct the boys to keep the ball on the ground(this is why I insisted Echiejile play ahead of Idowu against Croatia) but when playing teams with short players with stamina like argentina, the key is to do air passes and finish off with quick attacks from the flanks which is why we have Musa and Moses.
    -One two touch. Pass and run into space, Pass and untangle yourself to recieve a pass…
    -Always mark from the inside-out.(outwards to the opponents goal area)..Our boys are fond of marking from the outside in.
    -Interceptions..and opening up to recieve a pass…. This is something we dont do. Its like our boys pay more attention to their men marking when a ball is going beside them and theres a chance to intercept the ball…passing on the responsibility to the next person.
    -VAR..Its like our defenders have not accustomed themselves to the fact that what they do in the 18 is no more hidden…No senseless tackles around the 18.
    -Set pieces-Turn our weakness into a strength. Our Set piece formation should always have a counter attack part. So far we have sold ourselves cheap to our opponents that we give free set pieces…but if we can get two goals from conversion of defending set pieces to counter attack that yield goals…our opponents will stop committing so many men forward when they win set pieces like corners…

    Argentina will be out to draw blood and our only hope will be a 3-5-2 with very fast attackers. Counter attacks will win us this game..after the first 2 goals,. then we can revert to the former formation of 3-5(2-3)-2 …To start this game we need a 3-5(3-2)-2 formation …till the first goal comes.
    With Etebo and Ndidi running down the flanks from midfield to support the attack when necessary.

  • Nelson 3 years ago

    I disagree with the idea that Ighalo should be left out. Y always play him as d lone striker. He should be paired with Musa or Nacho before crucifying for poor performance. Hpy Sunday and bliss week

  • Koye Oduola 3 years ago

    OPTIONS to pray for……!
    A. NGN>ARG ≥4-0, ICE≥CRO 2-0, NGN>CRO 2nd.
    B. NGN>ARG CRO NGN 2nd.
    C. NGN-ARG draw, ICE,CRONGN.
    D. NGN-ARG draw, CRO win or draw ICE, CRO>NGN 2nd.
    E. None of the above is NOT an option. Amen.

  • Koye Oduola 3 years ago

    A. NG>AG ≥4-0, IC≥CR 2-0, NG 1st>CR 2nd.
    B. NG>AG CR NG 2nd.
    C. NG-AG draw, IC,CRNG 2nd.
    D. NG-AG draw, CR win/draw IC, CR>NG 2nd.
    E. None of the above is NOT an option. Amen.