Six Talking Points As Super Eagles Inch Closer To Qatar 2022 With 2-0 Win Over Liberia

Six Talking Points As Super Eagles Inch Closer To Qatar 2022 With 2-0 Win Over Liberia

The Super Eagles recorded a 2-0 victory over the Lone Stars of Liberia to maintain top spot in Group C of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

Victor Osimhen and Ahmed Musa both scored from the spot, as the Super Eagles boosted their chances of qualifying for the tournament.

Completesports.com‘s Augustine Akhilomen highlights six things we learnt from Nigeria’s win over Liberia.

Ndidi Solid In Eagles’ Midfield

The Leicester City marshaled the Super Eagles midfield with great solidity and confidence. His ability to join the defence and also help the attack proved so crucial for the team. Ahead of Tuesday’s showdown against Cape Verde, Nigerians can be rest assured that the 24-year-old will be on hand to marshal the engine room.

Victor Osimhen’s Goal Threat Continues

Prolific in front of goal, Osimhen netted Nigeria’s opening goal in the 15th minute via a penalty. It was his third goal in the qualifying series for the World Cup. Recall that he scored a goal against Cape Verde and one against the Central Africa Republic.

Awaziem Growing In Confidence

Awaziem’s last two appearances for the Super Eagles has been superb. He was confident with the ball and has a good vision to locate Kelechi Iheanacho from a distance that resulted to a penalty.

Troost-Ekong, Shaky In Defence

The Watford defender could have been punished for his inability to clear the ball properly close to the defence. But for the timely intervention of Leon Balogun, the ball would have been a goal for Liberia.

Simon Moses Yet To Play To His Potential

Known for his speed and bustling style of play, Simon is yet to make any meaningful impact in the qualifiers. Against Liberia, the Nantes star was culpable for some loose balls and added no bit in the attack.

Jamilu Collins Flattered To Deceive

Collins started on the left side of the defense for the Super Eagles. Despite being the full-back charged with the responsibility of running the channels and providing attacking impetus down the flanks, the Paderborn man could not fulfill his brief.

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  • Gowetok 3 weeks ago

    That’s why I still maintain that SE need VM.NFF must do all within their power to convince VM to rescind his Decision. Simon is trying . But his best is not enough. He lacks the decision and vision ..Watch VM play wind back and u will understand what I mean. If SE must quality for the world , then we need our best players and VM is one..Who will SE eliminate among Algeria, Senegal, Ghana, Cameroon, Ivory coast, Tunisia et al. I’m afraid ..The present need surgery .

    • Richie 3 weeks ago

      I think, if CHUKWUEZE is the same CHUKWUEZE that we both know, and he was brought into that fixture, he would have addressed most of your concerns from that match (and even going forward)…still haven’t gotten any cogent explanations yet why he wasn’t fielded for that fixture!

      He’s not naturally a “wing-back” quite alright; but we all know the kind of spark he brings in from the wings, when fully fit!

      • Jide Dola 2 weeks ago

        Simon Moses played as defender in that match, that is the reason he didn’t play

    • Bobo Colorado Springs 3 weeks ago

      How do you know those teams you mentioned above will beat the Super Eagles, what you don’t know is all of them don’t want to be drawn with Nigeria too. Nigeria opt their game against bigger and stroger opponents. Go and watch all the Nigerian games @ AFCON 2019.

      • Taiwo Evidence Ige 2 weeks ago

        I agree with you definitely although I still kind of have unsatisfactory feelings about our boys’ performances throughout this WCQ group stage campaign. Wishing them all the best on Tuesday in Lagos and their next opponent.

    • Uthman Mubarak 3 weeks ago

      You sabi ball I swear.. Moses carried Rohr all those years with his direct runs.

    • Afraid of what? There is no reason to be afraid. As if those teams are world best teams. Common Nigerians stop dying before you are killed

  • Richie 3 weeks ago

    He DIDN’T score a brace against Cape Verde @ Mindelo please…the second goal was obviously an own goal!

    Please fact-check, Dear CS…..And this corrigendum is not to downplay Osimhen’s raw quality, far from it. Just setting the record straight.

    • Richie 3 weeks ago

      …and so, Osiball has a total of THREE and not FOUR golazos so far in this Qualifying series.

  • Ugo Iwunze 1 second ago
    For me the team is on a good wicket Osimhen is a star. We need more competition for places in the team no time to waste. I think we have seen today the the *So Called* Yound stars by some are actually the big stars, chai life it has a funny way of doing things for me it is this.

    If Ighalo must stay the Onuachu must drop for Awoniyi. Then Musa thank you for your services nice Jesture by Osimhen to let you take the penalty it is clear they hold you In high regard but i think competition for places in the team is more useful that wasting space on So called experience I think Musa must drop and possibly Simon too. Dennis, Amoo, lookman, Must battle it our. Then Iheanacho and dessesers battles it out and Awoniyi, Ighalo and Onuachu battle it out. But Musa must Go and Ekong and Ndidi should fight it out. We need to put some passion for Victor Moses, that’s the only other experienced player we need if not the most important experienced player we need. If Rohr can think like this he really wouldn’t need a magic wand to get results.

    I think the squad is good. The only problem is lack of tactics

    • And no need for concern as the team will be stronger i hope we start Ejuke and Chukwueze on either flank next game. And have a way to still keep Iheanacho and Osimhen. Alex Iwobi can be used in the second half to shake things up. And Ighalo as well. Rather we call on him instead of Onuachu as Rohr has brought him may have to throw him in if Iheanacho is not bearing fruit by the 69 min of the game. I Would have preferred we also have the option of calling upon a Dennis or Awoniyi or Lookman but hey Rohr made his Choices.

      This is the kind of game when you see wheather you Made bad or Good call. Fingers crossed we will scale through but Cape Verde have nothing to loose and will go all Out!!!!. However God willing we will overcome them.

      • Michel 3 weeks ago

        To be honest about the super eagles,we will continue to struggle for goals if rohr continues with this type of selection,this is why most of us are calling for his sack if u recall most of the matches we played well and scored,u will see that we played Aina as a full back,he is very good offensively,makes assist and even win penalties, because he didn’t play well the last match,rohr has dropped him,if u play Aina and sanusi as full backs in a 4 3 3 formation,play awaziem as a CB with balogun or even akpoguma because oyibo wall has become a time bomb waiting to explode,play wingers that know how to use the ball,like chukwueze and ejuke or even onyekwuru,they will push ur opponents back,and force them to make mistakes,that way goals will come.osimenh must not start or play 90 mins, he is a very good player but the coach need to make that team competitive,for goals to start coming.we may not qualify if we continue with this same selection and lack of goals,should we meet a descent side.our team has dwindled greatly and I suggest to let the coach go after the qualification and get someone else for rebuilding

  • Okoye: To be honest, I don’t have full confidence in him.

    Simon: He did a lot better defensively than offensively. In fact, he couldn’t successfully cross or even deliver the ball into the 18-yard box throughout 90minutes.

    Iwobi: He could have done better. But the truth is that he didn’t do that badly. He was doing relatively well before my birthday mate removed him.
    I really believe that, if he had played to the end of today’s, something good could have come out from his efforts. Ejuke’s coming in set us back a bit.
    Just like somebody suggested some months ago, Iwobi should look for a club (even if it is in Saudi Arabia since SA is now acceptable in SE) where he will play consistently and also, as number 10. He would have been a lot better by now if he had been playing number 10 consistently in both club and country. Practice actually makes perfect.

    Osimhen: The goal Osimhen missed was actually down to lack of much experience. Instead of being in a hurry to shoot, he would have calmly moved in a bit to a better angle before shooting. But he quickly rushed the whole process. In fact, even if he didn’t move to a better angle, if he was calmer, he could have scored. Musa’s second goal against Iceland gives credence to my argument. Musa was very calm like somebody in heaven as he went about the process of scoring that goal. He was aware that any infringement on him at that point would be a penalty and he also knew that the opposition defenders were also aware that if they infringe on him, it would be a penalty. Consequently, the defenders were extremely careful and less aggressive as they tried to stop, and he exploited the situation and scored. On the other hand Osimhen was in so much hurry like somebody who EFCC was on his trail.

    Ejuke: Ejuke is not really a smooth dribbler. Apart from today’s match, I have already noticed that. For sure, he didn’t acquit himself in the number 10 position. This could be seen from the way our midfield which almost comatose before he was introduced, finally collapsed after he took over the reins. Perhaps, with more opportunities in that position, he may do better.

    Ndidi: Ndidi is back. And guess what? He came back with his ‘close to the 18 yard box’ fouls. This is dangerous.

    Aribo: Aribo didn’t do anything meaningful offensively. Apart from defensive duties, Aribo as a creative midfielder is also expected to play make by spreading the ball (long range), defence splitting passes, through balls, lobs etc, but he never risked trying any of that. He only made very simple and shot passes. However, he tried very well defensively. He marked the opponents very well, even though he was dribbled severally for his troubles.

  • My six observations from Super Eagles _ win against Liberia _

    1.Throwaway Football Entertainment is here to stay: for the umpteenth time, Rohr’s Super Eagles played a brand of football that in truth is easy to watch and ultimately got the desired result. Unfortunately it is not a match I will return to watch time and again with any fondness because it simply lacked any tactical excitement. You didn’t see the players orchestrate any maneuvers that were breath-taking. None of the action got me at the edge of my seat. There was no memorable period of play offensive or defensive that I long to go back and watch.

    The match wasn’t at all overly uplifting. A few performances from the likes of Osimhen, Iheanacho, Balogun, and even Simon attempted to lift the mood but they produced nothing jaw dropping, spectacular or monumental. It will never go down in the annals of great Super Eagles qualifying matches.

    If you are satisfied with a victory devoid of aesthetic football artistry then you will have no problems with yesterday’s showing from Nigeria. However, Rohr’s Super Eagles are slowly becoming adept at getting results with a brand of football that peppers over obvious cracks that can easily be exposed by more tactical teams.

    2. Reticent to Make Substitutions: with so many exciting players to pick from – even the returning albeit controversial Ighalo – Rohr only made 2 substitutions (one in the dying minutes). Granted in other matches he made more substitutions, Rohr should be bold and brave with the quality of players at his disposal.

    Football is a results business, I get it. But the Super Eagles fans are itching to see what this exciting array of talents can offer. By incorporating and accommodating more substitutions into his game plan, Rohr would demonstrate that he is in tune with the pulse, aspirations and yearnings of the fans (in addition to getting results).

    3. Other Wingback Options to be Explored: Jamilu Collins (bless him) produced a hard working display as left-wingback yesterday. He got into promising positions, he drew fouls in dangerous positions that Nigeria could have profited, he defended admirably with dogged determination and attacked with intent. The same could easily have been said for his opposite Moses Simon.

    But both lacked end product in the way of deft deliveries and cunning crosses. Tried as they did, both wingbacks didn’t impose themselves on the game. Their first touches were nowhere near first-class and their movements lacked the grace, poise and elegance of modern day wingbacks.

    Other options should be tried.

    4. The Centre Midfield is Capable of So Much: the centre midfielder should be like the immaculate orchestra conductor whose hands dictate the direction of the magnificent melody produced by the band which leaves the audience spellbound.

    It is a gracious department that should evoke such excitement and produce wow moments that will put fans at the edge of our seats and help generate a round of applause. Yet Aribo’s output continues to minimise to enjoyment to be derived from that department.

    In this match, his moves were uninspiring, his passes were unimaginative and his all round play failed to grab fans’ attention by the collar in how simple yet banal he went about his business.

    Prior to the match, a friend on a Nigerian football WhatsApp chat argued vehemently that Aribo should be stripped of the number 10 jersey. Owing to the grace and flamboyance often attached to previous wearers of the jersey, I am inclined to concur.

    5. Centre Defence Frailties Exist: simply put, Balogun and Ekong are suspect when put under pressure. I remember watching the Italy vs England European final and marvelled at how centre backs Bonucci and Chiellini (34 and 37 years old respectively) both produced masterclass defending for the now defending champions Italy.

    Though advanced in age, this didn’t slow them down against lightning speed, young agile England strike force. They showed exemplary composure, timed their runs, tackles and interceptions to perfection and always looked in command when under pressure.

    By contrast, Ekong and Balogun looked vulnerable when the Liberians pressured them. Balogun always looked like he would struggle for pace whilst Ekong had one or two questionable judgements in him (like his back header that almost set a Liberian striker through on goal). Both could easily lose their footing and composure and they tend to generate moments of panic. You are never really comfortable when opposition strikers drive at them.

    It could partly explain the drive towards having 3 defenders so that Ekong and Balogun’s shortcomings would not be easily exposed and explored.

    6. Super Eagles Attack is Losing its Bite: Taiwo Awoniyi might not have done himself any favours by showcasing his immaculate white teeth (rather than his attacking killer instinct) in a smile after missing a glorious chance to put Nigeria ahead against CAR in Lagos. This is serious business which should be reflected in a striker’s reaction in such situations more so as Super Eagles centre forwards have struggled recently.

    In the 2 games against CAR, only 1 goal was scored by Super Eagles strikers. In the 2 high profile friendlies against Cameroon just this June, our strikers failed to find the back of the net. In fact in the last 5 world cup qualifiers, only 4 out the 8 goals were scored by Super Eagles strikers (not counting penalties).

    You then wonder why Rohr and Amaju panicked to recall Ighalo.

    In the Liberia match, Osimhen did get into promising situations but could have done better with his chances at times. Iheanacho didn’t actually look threatening to score though he helped create goal scoring opportunities with his passes and movements.

    I would have thought parading 2 potent strikers up front would add bite and ferocity to Nigeria’s attack but that wasn’t forthcoming against Liberia yesterday. Rather than provide the extra body up front, Iheanacho had to drop deep(er) to inject the creativity that the midfield lacked (something number 10 Aribo should have provided).

    In all, the 2-man attack didn’t work for me and the Super Eagles strikers themselves are creating fertile grounds for Ighalo to displace them. Even Osimhen is not entirely irreplaceable if Ighalo hits the ground running.

    • Ademu Friday 2 weeks ago

      I admire the fluidity in your write up. I cannot but agree to every point you made. You are spot on!

  • Why do we all keep going back to the goal Awoniyi missed? have we all forgotten that CAR players packed their defence when Awoniyi did the obvious by taking a first time shot at goal only for it to be blocked by a CAR player,the guy saw the pass coming to Awoniyi from a close range and Awoniyi’s focus was on the ball, if he had trapped the ball to look for a better space he would have been crowded. So Awoniyi did nothing wrong in that match and we should leave him alone, we had a difficult match because the CAR trainer came with a plan and marshaled his boys to execute it to the letter and it gave them the shocking result against us. The only person that could have disrupted that plan was Rohr but he had no answer, G. Rohr is the weakest link in the Super Eagles , he is tactically inept and corrupt, his corruption has so blinded him that he is not ashamed to guarantee some below average Super Eagles players permanent shirts at the expense of other extremely talented and more active Nigerian players. besides, players do miss scoring chances even penalties, it does not always define them afterall Osihmen just missed one against Liberia in our last mich against Liberia or have we forgotten so quickly the many scoring chances Odion Ighalo missed before he retired. I remember the late Rashidi Yeini of blessed memory , as good as he was, he use to miss an average of two clear scoring chances per match, infact if he scores one goal he will miss two or three but those misses didn’t matter because we were always getting the result.We were getting the result because we had a very good midfield and wingers who were always tormenting the defence of any opponent they faced. Rohr has failed to organise the team and turn them into a crack side just like Westerhof did with less years and personnel.

    • Akanlo Ede 2 weeks ago

      No mind dem. Awoniyi na baller. He is far better than Osihmen and Ighalo. He missed a chance is that big deal? Haters will continue to hate. Ndi Taiwo Awoniyi is poor. Ngwa Ighalo is better. Mtcheeew.

  • I still say musa, ekong, collins are not doing enough to warrant a starting place in the team. We have better players than them. Why not start these players. We always say they have experience but their so called experience adds nothing to the game instead it makes the team lack bite. Its just that since mikel and moses left the Super Eagles we have suffered in terms of flair and creativity.
    I just keep looking back to the world cup qualifier against Cameroon. Now that is how we should be playing our games. We won by 4 goals to nil and we attacked throughout the game. Byr I don’t know what has changed. Its the same coach but he doesn’t seem to know how to raise this team back to that level. He just wants to play defensive all the time. So sad, especially when we have so many talented players at his disposal.